Lifestyle during pregnancy impacts grandchild weight gain
Healthy lifestyles during pregnancy echo through generations, potentially protecting grandchildren from overweight or obesity in adolescence, a recent study has found.
Researchers enrolled 14,001 grandmother-mother-child triads. Self-reported questionnaires were used to collect information about grand-maternal gestational weight gain and pregnancy diet, physical activity, and smoking, all contributing to a lifestyle score. The study outcome was child body mass index (BMI).
Adolescents whose grandmothers had the healthiest lifestyle during pregnancy saw a 0.17-kg/m2 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.01–0.33; ptrend=0.05) lower BMI than counterparts with grandmothers who had the least healthy lifestyle. The risk of being overweight or obese in the former group was also 7-percent (95 percent CI, 2–12; ptrend=0.001) lower.
The effect of grandmaternal pregnancy lifestyle on grandchild adolescent weight remained true even after controlling for prepregnancy BMI and the age and sex of the offspring.
Analysing per lifestyle component, smoking and gestational weight gain held strong influence over grandchild BMI. Those whose grandmothers were never smokers had a 0.27-kg/m2 lower BMI than counterparts whose grandmothers smoked severely during pregnancy. In addition, the risk of obesity or overweight was 5-percent lower in adolescents whose grandmothers had gestational weight gain that did vs did not adhere to the Institute of Medicine guidelines.
In addition, maternal prepregnancy BMI and lifestyle mediated the interaction between grandmaternal pregnancy lifestyle and grandchild weight status.