The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease & Sustainable Development Goals: Moving Towards Early Implementation
The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) paradigm provides us with a new and exciting way to think about causation of illness while at the same time providing us with both personal and population-level instruments for avoiding harm and promoting health. Many of the negative consequences of early childhood insults are related to chronic non-communicable diseases in later life (including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some cancers, and mental health). Thinking about improving the lives of babies also helps us to think about improving and saving the lives of mothers, especially during the perinatal period: gestational diabetes and maternal nutrition are apt examples.
At the same time the recently announced Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide us with an opportunity and energy, including potential financing, to do something more concrete and faster in relation to implementing some of the actionable outcomes of DOHaD thinking. Many of the SDGs, including #1 (eliminate poverty), #2 (eliminate hunger), #3 (good health, which mentions chronic non-communicable disease and also mental health) #4 (quality education), # 5 (gender equity), # 6 (clean water and sanitation) and #10 (reduced inequalities) are directly relatable to DOHAD.
The goal of this project is to review where DOHaD studies are today and to identify short- and long-term studies, advocacy programmes, and partnerships that can be undertaken, led, or energised by future DOHaD-oriented Fellows of STIAS and their colleagues in a multi-year project. The project will be inaugurated at a workshop to be held amongst the fellows and other experts from 21-23 September 2016. Fellows at STIAS who will have been in residence from the beginning of September 2016 will summarise their deliberations at the workshop. This initiative is being undertaken under the auspices of the STIAS long-term theme Health in Transition.