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The First Thousand Days: Epigenetics in the Age of Global Health

  • Michelle Pentecost

Abstract

The 1000 days between conception and a child’s second birthday is considered to be a crucial period for determining future health and potential, an understanding shaped by knowledge in the fields of the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD), neuroscience and epigenetics. Using a South African case study of the global ‘first thousand days’ initiative, in this chapter I examine how DOHaD and epigenetic knowledge, as ‘biosocial’ objects of enquiry, are embedded in global discourses that come to bear on the every day.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK has generously funded my doctoral research. Stanley Ulijaszek and the Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity at the University of Oxford and Fiona Ross and the First Thousand Days research group at the University of Cape Town have provided two complementary intellectual homes for this work. I extend heartfelt thanks to Stanley Ulijaszek, Tess Bird, Thomas Cousins and the anonymous reviewer for their reading and constructive criticism of earlier drafts. Small portions of this text appeared in Somatosphere—The First Thousand Days of Life Series, Introduction. The author gratefully acknowledges the permission from the editor to reuse these sections.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle Pentecost
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OxfordOxfordUK

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