In March 2020 researchers from the USA, Germany and Austria published the results of their study to assess whether maternal diet quality during the period surrounding pregnancy is related to a lower overweight risk in their offspring. A total of 2,729 mother-child pairs were involved in the study. Children, aged 12-14 years at the start of the study, and 21-23 years at the time of the last follow-up were assessed in accordance with the International Obesity Task Force and WHO guidelines. Maternal dietary information during pregnancy had been collected via food frequency questionnaires during other studies, and these were used to calculate a dietary score for the following three diets: Alternate Healthy Eating Index, Alternate Mediterranean Diet and Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diets. Results showed that a greater maternal adherence to the Alternate Mediterranean and DASH diets, but not the Alternate Healthy Eating Index diet, appeared to be associated with a reduced overweight risk in the offspring. However, after adjusting for confounders, eg maternal pre-pregnancy lifestyle factors, none of the diet quality scores were significantly associated with offspring overweight risk. It was noted that maternal pre-pregnancy BMI also did not modify any of these associations. In this population of generally well-nourished women, maternal healthful dietary patterns during the period surrounding pregnancy were not independently associated with offspring overweight risk at ages 12-23 years.
Strohmaier S et al. Maternal healthful dietary patterns during peripregnancy and long-term overweight risk in their offspring. Eur J Epidemiol. 2020 Mar;35(3):283-293