Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Adolescent education: an opportunity to create a Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) circuit breaker

  • J. L. Bay (a1) (a2) and M. H. Vickers (a1) (a2)

Health before conception, and periconceptional nutritional environments, contribute to conditioning of later-life health and disease. Health behaviors developed during adolescence continue into adulthood. Thus, even when the gap between pregnancy and adolescence is substantial, behaviors developed during adolescence influence later-life non-communicable disease (NCD) vulnerability in offspring. Consequently, adolescence is an important life phase where development of positive health behaviors can contribute to disruption of transgenerational cycles of NCD risk. Schooling is a core activity during adolescence. Modern curricula focus on development of capabilities associated with critical, engaged citizenship, empowering learning that supports action-based engagement in complex issues. Contexts relevant to adolescents and their communities, such as the NCD epidemic, are used to facilitate learning. Thus, engaging the education sector as participants in the work of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease community offers an important strategy to capture the potential of adolescence as a life stage for transgenerational primary prevention of obesity and NCD risk.

Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: J. L. Bay, Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, 1142 Auckland, New Zealand. (Email
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1. JP Newnham , MG Ross . Early Life Origins of Human Health and Disease. 2009. S. Karger Publishing: Basel.

2. O Chestnov , MV Hilten , C McIff , A Kulikov . Rallying United Nations organizations in the fight against noncommunicable diseases. Bull World Health Organ. 2013; 91, 623623A.

3. AS Todd , SJ Street , J Ziviani , NM Byrne , AP Hills . Overweight and obese adolescent girls: the importance of promoting sensible eating and activity behaviors from the start of the adolescent period. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015; 12, 23062329.

4. AM Craigie , AA Lake , SA Kelly , AJ Adamson , JC Mathers . Tracking of obesity-related behaviours from childhood to adulthood: a systematic review. Maturitas. 2011; 70, 266284.

5. L Steinberg . Cognitive and affective development in adolescence. Trends Cogn Sci. 2005; 9, 6974.

7. JL Bay , HA Mora , DM Sloboda , et al. Adolescent understanding of DOHaD concepts: a school-based intervention to support knowledge translation and behaviour change. J Dev Orig Health Dis. 2012; 3, 469482.

8. M Grace , K Woods-Townsend , J Griffiths , et al. Developing teenagers’ views on their health and the health of their future children. Health Educ. 2012; 112, 543559.

11. JL Bay , MH Vickers , DM Sloboda , HA Mora . Multi-dimensional connections: the Liggins Education Network for Science. In Bringing Communities Together: Connecting Learners with Scientists or Technologists (eds. France B, Compton V), 2012; pp. 161174. Sense Publishers: Rotterdam.

13. B Bruun Jensen . Health knowledge and health education in the democratic health-promoting school. Health Educ. 2000; 100, 146154.

16. J Mezirow . Transformative learning as discourse. J Transformative Educ. 2003; 1, 5863.

20. MW Gillman , DS Ludwig . How early should obesity prevention start? New Engl J Med. 2013; 369, 21732175.

21. PD Gluckman , M Hanson , P Zimmet , T Forrester . Losing the war against obesity: the need for a developmental perspective. Sci Transl Med. 2011; 3, 19.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
  • ISSN: 2040-1744
  • EISSN: 2040-1752
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-developmental-origins-of-health-and-disease
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 54 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 256 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.