The effects of dietary and lifestyle interventions among pregnant women with overweight or obesity on early childhood outcomes

1. Among obese and overweight pregnant women, risk of early childhood obesity was not reduced by maternal dietary and lifestyle interventions during pregnancy.

Evidence Rating Level: 3 (Average)

It is well-known that maternal obesity increases the risk of childhood obesity and that dietary interventions during pregnancy can reduce gestational weight gain. However, less is known about maternal obesity and its association with long-term childhood obesity-related outcomes. This meta-analysis located seven randomized clinical trials with appropriate follow-up, six of which provided individual participant data. Participants were women with a singleton, live gestation between 10+0 and 20+0 weeks and body mass index (BMI) ≥25kg/m2. Participants were randomly assigned to diet and/or lifestyle interventions or standard care with child follow-up between 3 and 5 years of age. In total, 2,529 children and 2,383 women were included across the six trials. Roughly 30% of child participants had a BMI z-score at or above 90th percentile, with no significant difference between intervention group and controls (adjusted RR = 0.97, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.08, p = .610). Secondary measures, such as body circumference, blood pressure, neurodevelopment, dietary and physical activity patterns, and skinfold thickness, were not significantly different across groups. Overall, this study found that maternal diet and lifestyle interventions during pregnancy do not modify childhood obesity risk. However, further research needs to be conducted on the preconception period in women.

Click to read the study in BMC Medicine

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