Effects of early life stress on metabolic and cognitive development of children
Early life stress has been shown to have a profound effect on the development of children. It is well established that early childhood experiences can influence brain development and affect the way a child responds to stress later in life.
It has also been shown that early life stressors can lead to alterations in the body’s metabolism which can lead to obesity and other metabolic diseases. In this article, I will discuss these effects on metabolic development and how they can affect cognitive function later in life.
The first thing we need to understand is what exactly early life stress is. Early life stressors are those events that happen within the first five years of a person’s life, either before or after birth. These include things like poverty, neglect, abuse and loss of parents or caregivers
(1). The effects of these early experiences are not just immediate but can have long-lasting consequences for health throughout life
(2). For example, if an infant grows up without proper nutrition or care because their parents are too busy working then they may never develop properly physically or mentally because they never received proper stimulation during critical periods of growth when these processes are most sensitive
(3). In fact, infants who experience early life stress may have smaller brains than children who do not experience early development.