Pregnancy study leads to fewer high birth weight babies

by David Ellis

(Medical Xpress)—The world's biggest study offering healthy eating and exercise advice to pregnant women who are overweight or obese has shown a significant reduction in the number of babies born over 4kg in weight.

The LIMIT Study, led by researchers from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Institute and the Women's and Children's Hospital, involved more than 2200 from 2008-2011.

In the first major results from the LIMIT Study, published this week in the British Medical Journal, the researchers say that providing advice and assistance to adopt a and during pregnancy has led to an 18% reduction in the chance of a baby being born over 4kg.

"This is a very important finding," says the lead author of the study, Professor Jodie Dodd from the University's Robinson Institute and the Women's and Children's Hospital.

"We know that babies who are born over 4kg have a two-fold increased risk of being overweight or obese as children, which often carries into later life, bringing with it a range of health concerns such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. So we're pleased to see that the study has led to a significant reduction in the risk of a baby being born over 4kg.

Professor Dodd says overweight and during pregnancy are common, affecting approximately 50% of women, and until now there has been little evidence about the benefit of dietary and lifestyle interventions on clinical outcomes in this group of women.

About half of the women who took part in the study were provided with dietary and lifestyle advice promoting and exercise, consistent with current Australian recommendations. The remaining women continued to receive routine antenatal care.

"Our focus was on providing simple, practical lifestyle advice that is very achievable in the real world. It wasn't about going on a diet, but focused on healthy eating and increasing activity levels on a daily basis," Professor Dodd says.

"There were no differences in the amount of weight women gained during pregnancy between the two study groups. It will be very important to look in more detail at the changes women have made to their diet and physical activity, and that will be the subject of a future paper."

More information: Dodd JM ,Turnbull D ,McPhee AJ ,Deussen AR ,Grivell RM ,Yelland LN ,et al. Antenatal lifestyle advice for women who are overweight or obese: "LIMIT randomised trial." BMJ 2014;348:g1285. doi: dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g1285

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Body image impacts on weight gain during pregnancy

Sep 30, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—How women perceive their bodies during pregnancy and how that impacts on their weight gain has been the subject of a new study by University of Adelaide researchers.

Caution to pregnant women on red meat diabetes link

Dec 10, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant can make use of the summer holiday season to adjust their diets and reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, according to researchers at the University ...

Recommended for you

Helping babies survive

4 hours ago

A healthy baby is born in the Haydom Lutheran Hospital in Tanzania. She is given the name Precious and her proud mother is ready to take her back to the village. Many children born in the same hospital, or ...

Unstable child care can affect children by age four

Nov 20, 2014

A new study from UNC's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) reveals that disruptions in child care negatively affect children's social development as early as age 4. However, the study also ...

Parental involvement still essential in secondary school

Nov 20, 2014

Although students become more independent as they rise through grade levels and parent-teacher interactions typically lessen as students age, parental involvement in a child's education during the secondary ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.