Maternal obesity and its epigenetic effects

Latha Ramalingam, Nishan Sudheera Kalupahana, Kalhara R. Menikdiwela, Chathura Ratnayake, Naïma Moustaïd-Moussa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States and around the world. Along with it, childhood obesity is rising at alarming rates. Heritability of obesity is very high, and it afflicts more than 50% of women of reproductive age. Maternal obesity is associated with complications to the pregnant mom as well as the offspring. Maternal diets contribute to alterations in epigenetic profiles in the fetus which in turn contributes to abnormities in the offspring affecting various metabolic tissues in the offspring. This chapter will review maternal obesity, epigenetic modifications which include DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNAs (miRNAs) and their alterations by overnutrition and physical activity. Furthermore, we will discuss research findings related to maternal obesity in human subjects and animal models, and its impact on the health of offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Active Female
Subtitle of host publicationHealth Issues throughout the Lifespan
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783031154850
ISBN (Print)9783031154843
Publication statusPublished - Feb 27 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal models
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • Histone modifications
  • Human studies
  • Maternal obesity
  • MicroRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Social Sciences


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