Childhood Health Consequences of Maternal Obesity during Pregnancy: A Narrative Review

Gaillard, Romy; Santos, Susana; Duijts, Liesbeth; Felix, Janine F.
January 2017
Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism;Jan2017, Vol. 69 Issue 3/4, p171
Academic Journal
Background: Obesity is a major public health problem among women of reproductive age. In a narrative review, we examined the influence of maternal obesity during pregnancy on fetal outcomes and childhood adiposity, cardio-metabolic, respiratory and cognitive-related health outcomes. We discuss results from recent studies, the causality and potential underlying mechanisms of observed associations and challenges for future epidemiological studies. Summary: Evidence from observational studies strongly suggests that maternal pre-pregnancy obesity and excessive gestational weight gain are associated with increased risks of fetal pregnancy complications and adverse childhood cardio-metabolic, respiratory and cognitive-related health outcomes. It remains unclear whether these associations are due to intra-uterine mechanisms or explained by confounding family-based sociodemographic, lifestyle and genetic factors. The underlying mechanisms have mainly been assessed in animal studies and small human studies, and are yet to be further explored in large human studies. Key Message: Maternal obesity is an important modifiable factor during pregnancy that is associated with a variety of adverse offspring health outcomes. Further studies are needed to explore the causality and underlying mechanisms of the observed associations. Ultimately, preventive strategies focused on reducing maternal obesity and excessive weight gainduring pregnancy may reduce common diseases in future generations.


Related Articles

  • Asthma, Weight and Exercise.  // Pediatrics for Parents;1999, Vol. 18 Issue 7, p2 

    Reports on a study which shows that obesity increased a children's chances of developing asthma.

  • Obesity and Asthma. Sagall, Richard J. // Pediatrics for Parents;2002, Vol. 20 Issue 3, p3 

    Reports on the impact of some factors on the risk of developing asthma in children in the U.S. Relation between asthma and obesity; Predictors for the development of asthma in children; Lifetime prevalence of asthma in children.

  • Which Came First?  // AARC Times;Dec2014, Vol. 38 Issue 12, p57 

    The article discusses the findings of a study published in the September 2014 issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology which shows the probable link between obesity and the development of asthma in adults.

  • Children in Hospitals...The Problem is "Bigger" Than Ever. Monaco, John E. // Pediatrics for Parents;2004, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p6 

    Focuses on the prevalence of obesity in children in the U.S. Presentation of a case of an obese child suffering from severe asthma; Incidence of sudden death in overweight children; Association of severe asthma and chronic lung disease with obesity.

  • Investigating the association between obesity and asthma in 6- to 8-year-old Saudi children: a matched case-control study. Nahhas, Mahmoud; Bhopal, Raj; Anandan, Chantelle; Elton, Rob; Sheikh, Aziz // Primary Care Respiratory Society UK;6/5/2014, p1 

    BACKGROUND: Previous studies have demonstrated an association between obesity and asthma, but there remains considerable uncertainty about whether this reflects an underlying causal relationship. AIMS: To investigate the association between obesity and asthma in pre-pubertal children and to...

  • Health Notes.  // Better Nutrition;Apr2001, Vol. 63 Issue 4, p20 

    Presents news about health. Finding that girls with a mean age of 12.6 years of age associate dieting with healthy eating and not weight loss; Link between obesity and asthma in children; Types of fish that are high in mercury that pregnant women and women of childbearing age are advised to avoid.

  • Pediatric Insider. Benaroch, Roy // Pediatrics for Parents;Nov/Dec2012, Vol. 28 Issue 11/12, p10 

    The article presents questions and answers related to pediatrics including how to prevent obesity in children, what to do if a child swallows a coin, and the truth if acetaminophen can cause asthma.

  • Increasing awareness about increasing waistlines. Browne, J. Zamgba // New York Amsterdam News;10/30/2003, Vol. 94 Issue 44, p30 

    A major initiative designed to combat obesity and asthma in children was launched this week by the YMCA of Greater New York under the banner of Operation Healthy Kids. YMCA President Paula Gavin said that the initiative will include an aggressive outreach and education program aimed at promoting...

  • Independent Nurse: Clinical - Public health - Managing weight in adolescence. Pryke, Rachel // GP: General Practitioner;4/9/2010, p30 

    The article reports on the management of obesity in adolescence. There has been a rapid growth of child obesity since the early 1990s in Great Britain. A current initiative for the management includes putting emphasis on general public awareness of basic healthy eating and lifestyle information....


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics