Published Online: August 03, 2020


Influence of “metabolic imprinting” on child development: an integrative review

Jessica Castelo Branco de Vasconcellos, Raquel Gomes de Andrade, Fernando Pereira de Carvalho, Marcel Vasconcellos,

Carlos Alfredo Franco Cardoso

ABSTRACT The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that coexisting paradoxically with malnutrition, a global epidemic of overweight and obesity is currently growing in many parts of the world. Data from the Brazilian Association for the Study of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome, indicate that 50% of the Brazilian population is overweight (overweight and obese). Obesity is one of the biggest public health problems in the world and its projection for 2025 is about 2.3 billion overweight adults and more than 700 million individuals within the framework of obesity. In this scenario, it is possible to observe the increase in the prevalence of obesity in pregnant women. Obesity is an inflammatory, systemic and multifactorial disease that can contribute to the loss of quality of life and homeostasis, favoring the emergence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia, among others. Despite the current knowledge on the subject, the influences of breastfeeding and its reflexes on child weight development are not yet fully known. This integrative review aimed to investigate current knowledge about the influence of breastfeeding on child weight development. An analysis of publications indexed in the Medline/PubMed® database of the National Institutes of Health was performed. The research was carried out in the period from January 1, 2000 to June 1, 2020, using the descriptors in the English language: “Metabolic imprinting”, “Maternal obesity”, “Metabolism”. The research revealed 66 articles. Of these, 25 articles were selected whose abstract or full text was compatible with the topic. Although most studies have shown an association between maternal obesity and harmful effects on offspring, the molecular mechanisms underlying poor fetal programming remain unknown. However, its clarification may enable therapeutic strategies that work to prevent or improve its repercussions.

KEYWORDS: maternal obesity, metabolism, obesity