Document Type

Plan B - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biology and Microbiology

First Advisor

Greg Heiberger


Obesity is a growing exponentially to be a health issue globally. Worldwide the rate of obesity has nearly doubled since 1980, with approximately 200 million adult men and 300 million adult women now being considered obese. We are also seeing growing percentages of woman of reproductive age being considered obese (BMI>30). Maternal obesity is known to increase the likelihood of developing complications during the pregnancy such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. These conditions create the environment for the growing fetus that are more difficult than that of a healthy pregnancy. The Developmental programming hypotheses links the environment of development to the development of chronic disease later in the offspring’s life. Nutritional intake also is a component of the environment that influences the epigenetic markers on the fetal genome. Both under and over nutrition have observed results in epigenetic changes in both human and animal studies. The maternal high fat diet, effect, and implications will be overviewed in this review. As well as suggested routes for future studies involving humans.

Once Sentence Summary: This review discusses animal and human studies that show the implications of changes in maternal diet from a base line “normal,” nutrition, primarily focused on high fat diet effects to the epigenetic marks of the offspring.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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