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The Science of Well-Being$
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Felicia A. Huppert, Nick Baylis, and Barry Keverne

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198567523

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567523.001.0001

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* The developmental origins of well-being

* The developmental origins of well-being

(p.58) (p.59) Chapter 3* The developmental origins of well-being
The Science of Well-Being

David J.P. Barker

Oxford University Press

The first part of this chapter discusses the developmental origins hypothesis, and the ‘life history theory’ and its biological implications regarding diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even depression. A deeper discussion is provided on the effects of undernutrition during early development and the consequences of accelerated or ‘compensatory’ growth in a person's life expectancy. Factors such as low birthweight, maternal nutrition, and the period in fetal development when the undernutrition occurred are also linked to the individual's chances of developing certain diseases. All these biological variables are then correlated to a person's well-being. Studies are shown linking fetal development to some aspects of a person's partner selection and to women's reproductive fitness. Postnatal brain growth is also shown to affect mood, intelligence, cognitive function, and the risk of degenerative brain diseases later on.

Keywords:   developmental origins, depression, low birthweight, fetal development, undernutrition, brain growth, compensatory growth, life history

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