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The Public Understanding of DOHaD Project


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma and dementia are so common worldwide that they are now considered to be an epidemic. NCDs are the leading cause of global death and are associated with substantial society and healthcare costs. We urgently need new ways to reduce the occurrence of NCDs in our community.

Research from the field of developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) shows that an individual’s lifestyle (e.g. dietary patterns, amount of exercise) not only influences their risk of developing NCDs, but that of their future children as well.

Programmes to help reduce the risk of developing NCDs are most likely to succeed if they educate individuals about DOHaD findings, e.g. why factors like obesity increases the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, and what causes obesity. This knowledge empowers people to make decisions and change their lifestyle.

But before NCD prevention programmes are designed, we need to find out what the public understands about NCDs, NCD risk factors and DOHaD concepts. This information will help us to develop programmes based on what is needed, and are therefore more likely to succeed.

To determine public understanding, we are currently conducting an international survey. This work is carried out in Auckland, New Zealand, and Hokkaido, Japan, and is funded by a Faculty Research Development Fund grant from the Liggins Institute (New Zealand) and the Fuji Women’s University (Japan).


Who are the researchers?

  • Jacquie Bay, Director LENScience, Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, New Zealand (Principal Investigator, New Zealand).
  • Professor Masahito Oyamada, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Fuji Women’s University, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan (Principal Investigator, Japan).
  • Associate Professor Robyn Dixon, School of Nursing, University of Auckland, New Zealand (Associate Investigator, New Zealand).
  • Dr Clare Wall, Department of Nutrition, University of Auckland, New Zealand (Associate Investigator, New Zealand).


What are our presentations?

Poster presentation at the 4th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for DOHaD, 1–2 August 2015, Tokyo, Japan

Poster presentation at the 12th Asian Congress of Nutrition, 14–18 May 2015, Yokohama, Japan


What are our publications?

Endo A, Oyamada M. On Japanese female university students' perception of developmental origins of health and disease: a questionnaire survey. J Dev Orig Health Dis. 2013;4 Suppl 2:S162


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