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Seminar – 28 October 2015 – Prof Atul Singhal

October 28, 2015 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


All are invited to the CEDAR/MRC Epidemiology Seminar:

The Role of Infant Nutrition in the Global Epidemic of Non-Communicable Disease

by Professor Atul Singhal of the Childhood Nutrition Research Centre, at the UCL Institute of Child Health (ICH), London.


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in particular, are the most important health problems of the 21st Century. Already in every world region except Africa, NCDs account for greater mortality than communicable, maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions combined. Although modifiable lifestyle factors in adults are the main determinants, substantial evidence now suggests that factors in early life also have a major role in the development of NCDs; commonly referred to as The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Hypothesis. Factors in utero, early post-natal life, and throughout childhood, have been shown to affect NCD’s by influencing risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia. Infant nutrition (e.g. breast-feeding rather than bottle feeding) and a slower pattern of infant weight gain have been shown to be particularly protective against later risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease in both low-income and high-income countries. The mechanisms involved are poorly understood, but include epigenetic changes; effects on endocrine systems regulating body weight, food intake, and fat deposition; and changes in appetite regulation. As a consequence, strategies to optimize early life nutrition could make a major contribution to stemming the current global epidemic of NCD. This presentation will review the role of early life factors in the development of NCDs, focusing on the impact of infant nutrition/growth on obesity and cardiovascular disease. The review will highlight the experimental (randomised) evidence where available, briefly summarize the underlying mechanisms involved, and consider the implications for public health.

About Professor Singhal

Atul Singhal is a Professor in Paediatric Nutrition at University College London and an Honorary Consultant Paediatrician at Great-Ormond Street Hospital. He has broad interests in paediatric nutrition but his research focuses on the influence of early nutrition for long-term health, the effects of nutritional interventions to reduce long-term cardiovascular risk, and nutritional interventions for obesity.  Read more.

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October 28, 2015
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


MRC Epidemiology meeting rooms 1&2, Level 3 IMS
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Cambridge, CB2 0SL United Kingdom


CEDAR/MRC Epidemiology Seminar Series