BackgroundThe in-utero environment affects fetal development; it is vital to understand how maternal diet during pregnancy influences childhood body composition. While research indicates that triglycerides in hyperglycaemic women may increase birth weight, little is known about this relationship in euglycemic women. This study examines the relationship between maternal blood lipid status and infant adiposity up to 2 years of age.MethodsData from 331 mother-child pairs from the ROLO longitudinal birth cohort study was analysed. Maternal dietary intakes were recorded and fasting blood lipids, leptin and HOMA were measured in early and late pregnancy and cord blood. Infant anthropometric measurements and skin-fold thicknesses were recorded at birth, 6 months and 2 years. Correlation and regression analyses were used to explore associations between maternal blood lipid status and infant adiposity.ResultsAll maternal blood lipids increased significantly during pregnancy. Maternal dietary fat intake was positively associated with total cholesterol levels in early pregnancy. Late pregnancy triglycerides were positively associated with birth weight (P = 0.03) while cord blood triglycerides were negatively associated with birth weight (P = 0.01). Cord HDL-C was negatively associated with infant weight at 6 months (P = 0.005). No other maternal blood lipids were associated with infant weight or adiposity up to 2 years of age.ConclusionMaternal and fetal triglycerides were associated with birth weight and cord HDL-C with weight at 6 months. Thus, maternal lipid concentrations may exert in-utero influences on infant body composition. There may be potential to modulate infant body composition through alteration of maternal diet during pregnancy.
Background: Diet quality and physical activity positively impact pregnancy outcomes among women with obesity, but successful lifestyle interventions require intense clinician time. We aimed to investigate the impact of a behavioral-lifestyle intervention (PEARS) supported by a smartphone app among pregnant women with overweight and obesity, on nutrient intake, behavioral stage-of-change and physical activity. Methods: Pregnant women (BMI 25-39.9 kg/m 2 , measured, n = 565) were randomized at 15.6 weeks' gestation to the intervention (n = 278), or a control group (n = 287) (ISRCTN29316280). The intervention was grounded in behavior-change theory. Participants received nutrition (low glycaemic index and healthy eating) and exercise advice, a smartphone app and fortnightly emails. The control group received usual care which does not include dietary advice. At baseline and 28 weeks' gestation, dietary data were obtained through 3-day food diaries (n = 290 matched), and stage-of-change and physical activity data were self-reported. App usage data were collected. Results: There were no differences between the groups at baseline. Compared with the control group, the intervention group had improved dietary intakes post-intervention with; lower glycaemic index (MD −1.75); free sugars (%TE) (MD −0.98); fat (%TE) (MD −1.80); and sodium (mg) (MD −183.49). Physical activity (MET-minutes/week) was higher in the intervention group post-intervention (MD 141.4; 95% CI 62.9, 219.9). The proportion of participants at "maintenance" stage-of-change for physical activity was higher in the intervention group (56.3 vs. 31.2%). App use was associated with lower glycaemic index and less energy from free sugars, but not with physical activity. Conclusion: A behavioral-lifestyle intervention in pregnancy supported by a smartphone app improved dietary intakes, physical activity, and motivation to engage in exercise.
The epigenetic profile of the developing fetus is sensitive to environmental influence. Maternal diet has been shown to influence DNA methylation patterns in offspring, but research in humans is limited. We investigated the impact of a low glycaemic index dietary intervention during pregnancy on offspring DNA methylation patterns using a genome-wide methylation approach. Sixty neonates were selected from the ROLO (Randomised cOntrol trial of LOw glycaemic index diet to prevent macrosomia) study: 30 neonates from the low glycaemic index intervention arm and 30 from the control, whose mothers received no specific dietary advice. DNA methylation was investigated in 771,484 CpG sites in free DNA from cord blood serum. Principal component analysis and linear regression were carried out comparing the intervention and control groups. Gene clustering and pathway analysis were also explored. Widespread variation was identified in the newborns exposed to the dietary intervention, accounting for 11% of the total level of DNA methylation variation within the dataset. No association was found with maternal early-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), infant sex, or birthweight. Pathway analysis identified common influences of the intervention on gene clusters plausibly linked to pathways targeted by the intervention, including cardiac and immune functioning. Analysis in 60 additional samples from the ROLO study failed to replicate the original findings. Using a modest-sized discovery sample, we identified preliminary evidence of differential methylation in progeny of mothers exposed to a dietary intervention during pregnancy.
Low educational attainment is likely to be associated with women gaining outside the IOM recommendations for GWG. Healthcare providers should provide additional support to pregnant women who are most at risk of gaining outside the recommendations, thus reducing the gap in health inequalities between those of high and low SES.
In an individual participant meta-analysis, late pregnancy moderate to vigorous physical activity modestly reduced birth size outcomes.
BackgroundPregnancy is a time of altered metabolic functioning and maternal blood lipid profiles change to accommodate the developing fetus. While these changes are physiologically necessary, blood lipids concentrations have been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension and high birth weight. As blood lipids are not routinely measured during pregnancy, there is limited information on what is considered normal during pregnancy and in fetal blood.MethodsData from 327 mother-child pairs from the ROLO longitudinal birth cohort study were analysed. Fasting total cholesterol and triglycerides were measured in early and late pregnancy and fetal cord blood. Intervals were calculated using the 2.5th, 50th and 97.5th centile. Data was stratified based on maternal body mass index (BMI) measured during early pregnancy. Differences in blood lipids between BMI categories were explored using ANOVA and infant outcomes of macrosomia and large-for-gestational-age (LGA) were explored using independent student T-tests and binary logistic regression.ResultsAll maternal blood lipid concentrations increased significantly from early to late pregnancy. In early pregnancy, women with a BMI < 25 kg/m2 had lower concentrations of total cholesterol compared to women with a BMI of 25–29.9 kg/m2 (P = 0.02). With triglycerides, women in the obese category (BMI > 30 kg/m2) had higher concentrations than both women in the normal-weight and overweight category in early and late pregnancy (P < 0.001 and P = 0.03, respectively). In late pregnancy, triglyceride concentrations remained elevated in women in the obese category compared to women in the normal-weight category (P = 0.01). Triglyceride concentrations were also elevated in late pregnancy in mothers that then gave birth to infants with macrosomia and LGA (P = 0.01 and P = 0.03, respectively).ConclusionBlood lipid concentrations increase during pregnancy and differ by maternal BMI. These intervals could help to inform the development of references for blood lipid concentrations during pregnancy.Trial registrationROLO Study - ISRCTN54392969. Date of registration: 22/04/2009.
During pregnancy, changes occur to influence the maternal gut microbiome, and potentially the fetal microbiome. Diet has been shown to impact the gut microbiome. Little research has been conducted examining diet during pregnancy with respect to the gut microbiome. To meet inclusion criteria, dietary analyses must have been conducted as part of the primary aim. The primary outcome was the composition of the gut microbiome (infant or maternal), as assessed using culture-independent sequencing techniques. This review identified seven studies for inclusion, five examining the maternal gut microbiome and two examining the fetal gut microbiome. Microbial data were attained through analysis of stool samples by 16S rRNA gene-based microbiota assessment. Studies found an association between the maternal diet and gut microbiome. High-fat diets (% fat of total energy), fat-soluble vitamins (mg/day) and fibre (g/day) were the most significant nutrients associated with the gut microbiota composition of both neonates and mothers. High-fat diets were significantly associated with a reduction in microbial diversity. High-fat diets may reduce microbial diversity, while fibre intake may be positively associated with microbial diversity. The results of this review must be interpreted with caution. The number of studies was low, and the risk of observational bias and heterogeneity across the studies must be considered. However, these results show promise for dietary intervention and microbial manipulation in order to favour an increase of health-associated taxa in the gut of the mother and her offspring.
Background Dietary interventions can improve pregnancy outcomes among women with increased BMI. Although the interest in mobile health interventions is growing, little is known about the acceptability of smartphone apps to support lifestyle interventions in such a cohort. Objective We aimed to assess the acceptability of the pregnancy, exercise, and nutrition research study with smartphone app support (PEARS) and the use of mobile health in a mixed lifestyle intervention delivered to overweight and obese pregnant women. Methods PEARS was a randomized controlled trial of a low glycemic index dietary intervention with exercise prescription and a smartphone app, which was delivered to pregnant women who were overweight or obese. Acceptability questionnaires were completed by the intervention group at 28 weeks of gestation (n=149) and at postintervention (n=123). Maternal characteristics were recorded (ie, age, ethnicity, BMI, socioeconomic status). Associations between maternal characteristics and acceptability of the intervention and app were analyzed using two-tailed t tests, Mann-Whitney U tests, chi-square test, and logistic regression. One-on-one semistructured interviews were conducted with a subcohort of the intervention participants (n=28) at 34 weeks of gestation, in which the participants shared their experiences of the PEARS intervention. Results The intervention was generally accepted, with respondents agreeing that the diet was easy to follow (98/148, 68.5%), enjoyable (106/148, 74.1%), and affordable (110/148, 76.9%). Qualitative and quantitative results were consistent with each another, both demonstrating that app acceptability was high. The participants agreed that the app was enjoyable (96/120, 80.0%) and easy to use (116/119, 97.5%). Compared to those with tertiary education, those with lower education levels were more likely to enjoy the dietary changes (P=.04). Enjoyment of the app was associated with disadvantaged neighborhood deprivation index (P=.01) and higher BMI (P=.03). Conclusions The PEARS intervention and use of a supportive smartphone app were accepted by pregnant women, particularly by those from vulnerable subgroups of this population. Trial Registration International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) 29316280; https://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN29316280
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