August 14, 2018
1 min read

Prenatal intervention in obese mothers does not affect child's growth

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A dietary and lifestyle intervention for pregnant women who were overweight or obese did not alter their children’s growth or adiposity at 18 months, according to a study results published in Pediatrics.

“WHO estimates 42 million children younger than the age of 5 years are overweight or obese globally, representing a significant burden of disease and associated health care costs,” Jodie M. Dodd, MD, PhD, of the University of Adelaide, and colleagues wrote. “Maternal obesity is associated with an increased risk of preschool obesity, with the risk ranging from a 1.6-fold to a more than sixfold increase, compared with offspring of women of normal BMI, potentially creating a vicious cycle impacting successive generations.”

Dodd and colleagues conducted a follow-up study of 1,602 children at 18 months of age who were born to women who are participated in the (Limiting Weight Gain in Overweight and Obese Women During Pregnancy to Improve Health Outcomes [LIMIT]) randomized trial. The women recruited had a singleton pregnancy, between 10 and 20 weeks’ gestation and a BMI of at least 25 kg/m2  and were randomly selected to receive an antenatal dietary and life style advice or standard antenatal care. Prevalence of child BMI z scores greater than 85th percentile was the primary endpoint. Range of anthropometric measures, neurodevelopment, general health and child feeding were considered secondary outcomes.

There were 816 children in the lifestyle advice cohort and 786 children in the standard care cohort. When the researchers compared the children in the two cohorts, there were no statistically significant differences in the prevalence of child BMI z scores greater than 85th percentile (life style advice cohort, 505 [47.11%] vs. standard care cohort, 483 [45.63], adjusted relative risk = 1.04; 95% CI, 0.94-1.16).

“We found no evidence of effect from a comprehensive dietary and life style intervention provided during pregnancy for women who are overweight or obese on measures of child growth, adiposity and neurodevelopment at 18 months,” the researchers wrote.

They added that an ongoing follow-up of the cohort of children was “warranted in view of the well-recognized association between high infant birth weight and subsequent obesity and the high rates of overweight, obesity and obesogenic behaviors evident at such an early age.” by Bruce Thiel

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.