Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Health promotion and public health
Maternal weight status before pregnancy is strongly associated with offspring weight status in childhood
  1. Rachel Cooper1,
  2. Snehal M Pinto Pereira2
  1. 1 Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
  2. 2 Research Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, UCL, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Rachel Cooper, Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M15 6BH, UK; r.cooper{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Commentary on: Heslehurst N, Vieira R, Akhter Z, et al. The association between maternal body mass index and child obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Medicine 2019;16:e1002817. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002817.

Implications for practice and research

  • When designing strategies to prevent childhood obesity, the weight status of women prepregnancy is a potential target for intervention.

  • Research is needed to identify interventions that are effective in reducing the prevalence of maternal prepregnancy obesity.


Obesity is associated with adverse health outcomes across life. The rise in its global prevalence is therefore one of the most important public health challenges of our time.1

Obesity tracks across life and so interventions to reduce its prevalence and minimise its lifelong consequences need to commence early in life.2 Parental and offspring weight status are strongly associated,3 and it is recognised that intervening on these intergenerational associations may be …

View Full Text


  • Funding SMPP is funded by a UK Medical Research Council Career Development Award (ref MR/P020372/1).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.