This led to the finding that during the first trimester of pregnancy, mothers were essentially programming their babies to prepare for a calorie-poor environment, an idea that became known as the "thrifty phenotype
The thrifty phenotype
theory: This one exists in several forms.
The strikingly high prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in the American South can be traced (at least in part) to rapid economic growth between 1950-80, suggests a study published in the American Journal of Human Biology, which cites the "thrifty phenotype
" hypothesis--if economic conditions present during fetal development improve dramatically during a person's childhood, the prospects of poor health in adulthood increase.
This adaptive mechanism is known as Barker's thrifty phenotype
One of the hypotheses explaining this (thrifty phenotype
hypothesis) states that reduced foetal growth results in increased vulnerability to these diseases because of adaptations made by the foetus in an environment limited in its supply of nutrients.
Type 2 (non-insuli-ndependent) diabetes mellitus: the thrifty phenotype hypothesis.
Implications of the thrifty phenotype hypothesis for the health of societies undergoing acculturation--lessons for South African health planning.
Genetics and epigenetics are important determinants of preconception/ conception and subsequent foetal growth amplifying the role of 'Maternal Thrifty Phenotype' Hypothesis and the subsequent 'Developmental Plasticity' and 'Programming' (Neel 1962, Lucas 1991, Hales and Barker 1992, Neel 1999).
For the female/ girl-child, this physique determines the pre-pregnancy state which is a critical determinant, through the 'Maternal Thrifty Phenotype' Hypothesis, of foetal growth and birthweight of the offspring.
Type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes mellitus: the thrifty phenotype hypothesis.
But in broad outline, the thrifty phenotype
hypothesis holds that in periods of nutritional deprivation, the fetus adopts two strategies to ensure survival: It preferentially shunts blood to the brain from key bodily organs; and during a critical window of intrauterine development it engages in programming of organ structure and function so as to maintain long-term metabolic thriftiness later in life under conditions of poor postnatal nutrition.
There is another interesting theory called the thrifty phenotype
. This theory relates to the fact that if you are born small, it may predispose you to getting Type 2 diabetes as you get older.