The New Delhi Birth Cohort was established in 1969 within a population ~1.2 lakhs representing different strata of society. Even married women were followed from pre-pregnant state to pregnancy until birthing. The 8181 cohorts born alive were subsequently followed-up at three monthly intervals in infancy and six-monthly thereafter to record various outcomes including size at birth, survival, physical growth and development. Following the accomplishment of initial objectives the prospective follow-up was extended intoadolescence and adulthood for developing growth charts. Currently they are being followed from young adult age of 26 years onwards to present age of 46-48 years to determine the influence of birth weight and childhood growth at different age periods on the intriguing phenomena of the developmental origins of health and adult diseases like diabetes, hypertension and metabolic syndrome.
A longitudinal follow up of growth and body composition from birth to adulthood showed that low birth weight predisposes to diabetes and a good weight to lean body mass.A rapid growth in BMI after four years leads to increase in fat mass and obesity. An increase in BMI and waist circumference increases risk of cardio-metabolic risk factors.
The first two years of life with the intra-uterine period has been termed the “First 1000 days” and is considered a crucial time in human life. Health and nutrition interventions in this period are likely to be most beneficial for adult health and social outcomes.
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