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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}mmu.ac.uk

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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.

Context

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 …

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