The environment, fetal development and non-communicable diseases


The medical conditions that increasingly affect modern societies are of overriding concern in public health.  To name but a few, these include obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, immune and autoimmune diseases, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, and several cancers. Governments and medical institutions around the world are battling to fight the devastating effects of these diseases. Their efforts may be targetting the wrong life stages.

The commentary ‘Developmental Origins of Non-Communicable Disease: Implications for Research and Public Health‘, published in Environmental Health focuses on the link between the environmental impact on foetal development and the development of non-communicable diseases. It highlights the plasticity of the development and points to evidence that both the development of foetuses and the progression of diseases are impacted by the environment, specifically by nutritional imbalance or chemical exposures, with devastating adverse consequences for health later in life.

BioMed Central is adopting a new approach towards interactive publishing by allowing the UN Rio conference attendees and other colleagues to electronically co-sign this article (name, affiliation, country) via an email to or via the ‘Post a comment’ function on the article lending support to the consensus paper. The list of Image credit wikipediaco-signatories will appear as a ‘Comment’.

We would therefore like to invite readers with an interest in the impacts of the environment on public health or with interests in early life development to read and electronically sign this exciting manuscript.

Alexa Chamay Berrier

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