Clinical Medicine Insights: Pediatrics

Pediatric Obesity: It’s Time for Prevention Before Conception Can Maternal Obesity Program Pediatric Obesity?

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Clinical Medicine Insights: Pediatrics 2008:2 37-46

Published on 19 Nov 2008

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Zach Ferraro1,2 and Kristi B. Adamo1,2,3

1Healthy, Active, Living and Obesity (HALO) Research Group, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. 2University of Ottawa, School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences. 3Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.


Global increases in obesity have led public health experts to declare this disease a pandemic. Although prevalent in all ages, the dire consequences associated with maternal obesity have a pronounced impact on the long-term health of their children as a result of the intergenerational effects of developmental programming. Previously, fetal under-nutrition has been linked to the predisposition to pediatric obesity explained by the adiposity rebound and ‘catch-up’ growth that occurs when a child born to a nutrient deprived mother is exposed to the obesogenic environment of present day. Given the recent increase in maternal overweight/obesity (OW/OB) our attention has shifted from nutrient restriction to overabundance and excess during pregnancy. Consideration must now be given to interventions that could mitigate pregravid body mass index (BMI), attenuate gestational weight gain (GWG) and reduce postpartum weight retention (PPWR) in an attempt to prevent the downstream signaling of pediatric obesity and halt the intergenerational cycle of weight related disease currently plaguing our world. Thus, this paper will briefly review current research that best highlights the proposed mechanisms responsible for the development of child OW/OB and related sequalae (e.g. type II diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease (CVD)) resulting from maternal obesity.




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