Understanding the determinants of adiposity among newborns of Indian ancestry in Canada and India. The South Asian Birth Cohort Cohort (START) (Funded by: ICMR)

Globally, people of South Asian origin are one of the highest risk groups for the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, with increasing urbanization, the prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing in developing countries like India. Thus, understanding the early determinants of adiposity will help put in place preventive strategies to modify metabolic risk factors.  There is evidence to suggest that the development of adiposity and associated metabolic risk factors are partially determined by the maternal and paternal factors, the in-utero environment and genetic and epigenetic changes. Adiposity is partly programmed in-utero, and is influenced by maternal, paternal and fetal factors. The “programmed fetus” is then exposed to a new external environment after birth and interactions between the programmed newborn and the new environment to which it is exposed leads to excess adiposity and related metabolic risk factors during childhood.
The objective of the proposed study is to understand the effect of diverse environments on the development of adiposity among newborns and the growing offspring during the first three years of age.