Volume 2015 Supplement 1

Abstracts from the 8th APPES Biennial Scientific Meeting

Open Access

Regular, moderate intensity maternal exercise reduces birth weight but increases the risk of later childhood adiposity

  • Valentina Chiavaroli1,
  • Sarah Hopkins1,
  • Janene Biggs1,
  • José Derraik1,
  • Raquel Olmedo Rodrigues1,
  • Wayne Cutfield1 and
  • Paul Hofman1
International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology20152015(Suppl 1):O43

https://doi.org/10.1186/1687-9856-2015-S1-O43

Published: 28 April 2015

Aims

We have previously randomised primiparous mothers to either an exercise regime or normal activity between 20 and 36 weeks gestation. In this study we aimed to assess the long-term effects of exercise during pregnancy on growth parameters and body composition in the offspring over their first 6-8 years of life.

Methods

Of the initial 84 women and their offspring who participated in the RCT, follow-up data were available on 46 mothers (26 exercisers, 20 controls) and 46 children. At each follow-up visit (6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 4 years, 6-8 years) clinical assessment included measurement of mothers’ and children’s heights, weights, BMI, and waist circumference, as well as blood pressure. Body composition was assessed in both mothers and children by whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans at 4-year and 7-year follow-up visits.

Results

There were no differences in anthropometry between exercise and control children in the first 2 years of life. In addition, at age 4 years there were no differences in height, BMI, percentage body fat, or waist circumference between the two groups. At a mean age of ~7.5 years, exercise and control children showed similar weight, height, BMI, and waist circumference, but the exercise group had more body fat (17.5 vs 16.0%, P=0.02) than controls. Over the course of follow-up there were no observed differences in anthropometry between exercise and control mothers.

Conclusion

While no long-term benefits of maternal exercise in the first pregnancy were noted in mothers, children exposed to maternal exercise during intrauterine life appear prone to greater fat mass accumulation in mid-childhood. Larger studies are required to confirm this important observation as exercise in pregnancy is widely recommended by obstetricians.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Liggins Institute, University of Auckland

Copyright

© Chiavaroli et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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