In February 2019 researchers from The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, France, USA, Greece, UK, Norway, Italy, Germany, Australia, Finland, Ireland, Canada, Denmark, Spain, Slovak Republic and Ukraine published the results of their study to assess the separate and combined association of maternal BMI and gestational weight gain with the risk of overweight/obesity in their offspring throughout childhood. A total of 162,129 mothers and their children from 37 pregnancy studies were included in the analysis. Results showed that higher maternal pre-pregnancy BMI and gestational weight gain were associated with a higher risk of childhood overweight/obesity, with the strongest effects in late childhood. The percentage of childhood overweight/obesity incidence that was attributable to maternal overweight, maternal obesity, and excessive gestational weight gain ranged from 10.2% to 21.6%. The researchers concluded by stating that future interventions aiming to reduce the incidence of childhood overweight and obesity should focus on maternal weight status before pregnancy, in addition to weight gain during pregnancy.
Voerman E et al. Maternal body mass index, gestational weight gain, and the risk of overweight and obesity across childhood: An individual participant data meta-analysis. PLoS Med. 2019 Feb 11;16(2):e1002744