Developmental Origins of Disease and Health Disparities: Limitations and Future Directions

  • Steven A. HaasEmail author
Part of the National Symposium on Family Issues book series (NSFI)


The developmental origins of disease (DOD) model seeks to replace the traditional epidemiologic risk-factor model with a perspective focused on the long-term consequences of nutritional resource scarcity during early life and the developmental trade-offs it creates. Research into the developmental origins of adult chronic disease has progressed substantially in recent years. However, a number of critical issues remain unexplored and underdeveloped. This chapter discusses some of those issues while providing an interdisciplinary population health perspective on the future of DOD research, with particular attention paid to health disparities and changes that are needed in health policy and intervention. I argue for research to provide greater specificity of the exposures of interest, a more comprehensive understanding of critical periods, and better theoretical and empirical integration of the developmental origins perspective within the life course and across multiple intergenerational processes.


Birth Outcome Compensatory Growth Developmental Origin Pregnancy Weight Gain Socioeconomic Attainment 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Crime, Law & JusticePenn State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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