Maternal refined-grain intake ups risk of overweight, obesity in offspring
Mothers who have high consumption of refined grains during pregnancy are likely to have offspring with higher body mass index z score (BMIZ) and greater risk of overweight or obesity at age 7 years, a recent study has found.
Researchers performed a prospective analysis of refined-grain intake during pregnancy in association with offspring growth through age 7 years among high-risk children born to women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). A total of 918 mother‒singleton child dyads from the Danish National Birth Cohort were included.
Offspring BMIZs were estimated using weight and length or height measured at birth, 5 and 12 months, and 7 years. Researchers used linear and Poisson regressions, adjusting for maternal demographic, lifestyle and dietary factors.
Maternal refined-grain intake during pregnancy positively correlated with offspring BMIZ (adjusted β per serving increase per day, 0.09; 95 percent CI, 0.02 to 0.15) and risk of overweight or obesity at age 7 years (adjusted risk ratio [aRR] comparing the highest with the lowest quartile, 1.80; 1.09 to 2.98; p=0.032 for trend). This association was more evident among children who were breastfed <6 months.
Replacing one serving of refined grains per day with an equal serving of whole grains during pregnancy was associated with a 10-percent reduction in risk of offspring overweight or obesity at age 7 years (aRR, 0.90; 0.82 to 0.98). There were no associations between refined-grain intake and infant growth.
“The findings highlight pregnancy as a potential window of susceptibility associated with offspring growth and obesity risk among this high-risk population,” researchers said. “Data with longer follow-up are warranted.”