Diet and exercise for obese mothers protects cardiovascular risk in infants

A lifestyle intervention of diet and exercise in pregnancy protects against cardiovascular risk in infants, a new study has found. Photo: Pexels

(Science Daily) — The study, published recently in the International Journal of Obesity by researchers from King’s College London and funded by the British Heart Foundation, found that 3-year-old children were more likely to exhibit risk factors for future heart disease if their mother was clinically obese during pregnancy. A behavioural lifestyle intervention reduced this risk.

In the UK, more than half the women attending antenatal care are clinically overweight or obese. There is increasing evidence to suggest that obesity in pregnancy is associated with cardiometabolic dysfunction in children, and that serious cardiovascular disease may begin in the womb.

The UPBEAT trial, conducted at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, randomised women with obesity (a BMI of over 30 kg/m2) in early pregnancy to a diet and exercise intervention or to standard pregnancy care. (…)