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Symonds, Michael E., Mendez, Michelle A., Meltzer, Helle Margrete, Koletzko, Berthold, Godfrey, Keith, Forsyth, Stewart and Beek, Eline M. van der (2013): Early Life Nutritional Programming of Obesity: Mother-Child Cohort Studies. In: Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, Vol. 62, No. 2: pp. 137-145 [PDF, 253kB]


Background: The obesity epidemic has resulted in more overweight/obesewomen before and during pregnancy. Their offspring tend to have higherbirth weights and more body fat, and carry an increased risk of obesitylater in life. These effects may partly be related to the heightenedrisk of gestational diabetes, occurring in at least 16% of allpregnancies irrespective of current body weight. Methods: An ILSI Europeworkshop reviewed the key contributors leading to adverse outcomes inpregnancy and childhood, including gestational weight gain andnutrition. New research opportunities from prospective mother-childcohort studies were explored. Results: Simple measures of gestationalweight gain provide insufficient detail of the underlying physiologicaland metabolic adaptations occurring in pregnancy, and should becomplemented by measures of body composition, metabolic and endocrineresponses. Recordings of maternal dietary intake and nutrient status areoften limited and potential correlations with gestational weight gainhave been poorly studied. Many pregnancies in overweight/obese women areuncomplicated and result in offspring of normal weight, leaving the maindeterminants of later adverse outcomes to be clarified. Conclusions: Theworkshop provided insights of primary measurements for thecharacterization of sustainable nutritional intervention strategies inthe mother, infant and child for preventing obesity in later life.

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