Effects of an antenatal dietary intervention in women with obesity or overweight on child outcomes at 8–10 years of age: LIMIT randomised trial follow-up

Jodie M. Dodd, Andrea R. Deussen, Alexia S. Peña, Megan Mitchell, Jennie Louise

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    Background: The LIMIT randomised controlled trial looked at the effect of a dietary and lifestyle intervention compared with routine antenatal care for pregnant women with overweight and obesity on pregnancy outcomes. While women in the intervention group improved diet and physical activity with a reduction of high birth weight, other outcomes were similar. We have followed the children born to women in this study at birth, 6 and 18 months and 3–5 years of age and now report follow-up of children at 8–10 years of age. Methods: Children at 8–10 years of age who were born to women who participated in the LIMIT randomised trial, and whose mother provided consent to ongoing follow-up were eligible for inclusion. The primary study endpoint was the incidence of child BMI z-score > 85th centile for child sex and age. Secondary study outcomes included a range of anthropometric measures, neurodevelopment, child dietary intake, and physical activity. Analyses used intention to treat principles according to the treatment group allocated in pregnancy. Outcome assessors were blinded to the allocated treatment group. Results: We assessed 1,015 (Lifestyle Advice n = 510; Standard Care n = 505) (48%) of the 2,121 eligible children. BMI z-score > 85th percentile was similar for children of women in the dietary Lifestyle Advice Group compared with children of women in the Standard Care Group (Lifestyle Advice 479 (45%) versus Standard Care 507 (48%); adjusted RR (aRR) 0.93; 95% CI 0.82 to 1.06; p = 0.302) as were secondary outcomes. We observed that more than 45% of all the children had a BMI z-score > 85th percentile, consistent with findings from follow-up at earlier time-points, indicating an ongoing risk of overweight and obesity. Conclusions: Dietary and lifestyle advice for women with overweight and obesity in pregnancy has not reduced the risk of childhood obesity, with children remaining at risk of adolescent and adult obesity. Other strategies are needed to address the risk of overweight and obesity in children including investigation of preconception interventions to assess whether this can modify the effects of maternal pre-pregnancy BMI. The LIMIT randomised controlled trial was registered with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12607000161426).

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number643
    JournalBMC Pediatrics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished or Issued - Dec 2023


    • Childhood obesity
    • Dietary and lifestyle interventions in pregnancy
    • Follow up of randomised trial
    • Overweight and obesity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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