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Windows of opportunity for physical activity in the prevention of obesity


Street, SJ and Wells, JC and Hills, AP, Windows of opportunity for physical activity in the prevention of obesity, Obesity Reviews, 16, (10) pp. 857-70. ISSN 1467-7881 (2015) [Substantial Review]

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DOI: doi:10.1111/obr.12306


Tackling increasing rates of obesity is likely to be a defining feature of health care over the next several decades. Adult obesity is a persistent and treatment-resistant problem. Consequently, an emerging theme in the literature is to commence prevention efforts earlier in the developmental time course. This view is based primarily on epidemiological data demonstrating a link between traits manifesting early during development and increased obesity risk in adulthood. Physical activity is a perennial factor in discussions of obesity prevention. However, the optimal timing and type of physical activity interventions to commence remains unclear. Critical developmental windows of plasticity may afford time-limited opportunities to shape body composition across the life course; however, physical activity has not been explicitly considered in these discussions. Although animal models suggest that physical activity commenced earlier in development has differential effects on obesity onset compared to physical activity commenced in adulthood, human research is lacking. In this conceptual review, we consider physical activity during critical developmental periods as a way to mitigate obesity risk later in life.

Item Details

Item Type:Substantial Review
Keywords:Obesity, Physical Activity, Life History Theory, Growth and Development
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Street, SJ (Dr Steven Street)
UTAS Author:Hills, AP (Professor Andrew Hills)
ID Code:113033
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2016-12-08
Last Modified:2016-12-09

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