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The effects of dietary and lifestyle interventions among pregnant women with overweight or obesity on early childhood outcomes: an individual participant data meta-analysis from randomised trials

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Jennie Louise
  • Amanda J Poprzeczny
  • Andrea R Deussen
  • Christina Vinter
  • Mette Tanvig
  • Dorte Moller Jensen
  • Annick Bogaerts
  • Roland Devlieger
  • Fionnuala M McAuliffe
  • Kristina M Renault
  • Emma Carlsen
  • Nina Geiker
  • Lucilla Poston
  • Annette Briley
  • Shakila Thangaratinam
  • Jodie M Dodd
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BACKGROUND: The impact of maternal obesity extends beyond birth, being independently associated with an increased risk of child obesity. Current evidence demonstrates that women provided with a dietary intervention during pregnancy improve their dietary quality and have a modest reduction in gestational weight gain. However, the effect of this on longer-term childhood obesity-related outcomes is unknown.

METHODS: We conducted an individual participant data meta-analysis from RCTs in which women with a singleton, live gestation between 10+0 and 20+0 weeks and body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2 in early pregnancy were randomised to a diet and/or lifestyle intervention or continued standard antenatal care and in which longer-term maternal and child follow-up at 3-5 years of age had been undertaken. The primary childhood outcome was BMI z-score above the 90th percentile. Secondary childhood outcomes included skinfold thickness measurements and body circumferences, fat-free mass, dietary and physical activity patterns, blood pressure, and neurodevelopment.

RESULTS: Seven primary trials where follow-up of participants occurred were identified by a systematic literature search within the International Weight Management in Pregnancy (i-WIP) Collaborative Group collaboration, with six providing individual participant data. No additional studies were identified after a systematic literature search. A total of 2529 children and 2383 women contributed data. Approximately 30% of all child participants had a BMI z-score above the 90th percentile, with no significant difference between the intervention and control groups (aRR 0.97; 95% CI 0.87, 1.08; p=0.610). There were no statistically significant differences identified for any of the secondary outcome measures.

CONCLUSIONS: In overweight and obese pregnant women, we found no evidence that maternal dietary and/or lifestyle intervention during pregnancy modifies the risk of early childhood obesity. Future research may need to target the pre-conception period in women and early childhood interventions.


Original languageEnglish
Article number128
JournalBMC Medicine
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Child follow-up of pregnancy intervention studies, Childhood obesity, Individual participant data meta-analysis

ID: 65946379