Maternal prepregnancy overweight and obesity are associated with reduced physical fitness but do not affect physical activity in childhood: The Amsterdam born children and their development study

Stijn Mintjens, Reinoud J. B. J. Gemke, Mireille N. M. van Poppel, Tanja G. M. Vrijkotte, Tessa J. Roseboom, Arend W. van Deutekom

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Background: Maternal overweight/obesity during pregnancy increases offspring's risks of obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD). A possible pathway is by reduced physical fitness and physical activity (PA) levels in children of overweight/obese mother. We assessed whether maternal prepregnancy overweight/obesity independently determines cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), muscular strength, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and sedentary behavior (SB) in 8- to 9-year-old children. We also assessed whether child's fat mass (FM) mediates these associations. Methods: One hundred ninety-four children of Dutch ethnicity aged 8.6 (± 0.4) years were randomly selected from a prospective birth cohort, the Amsterdam Born Children and their Development (ABCD) study. CRF was assessed by the 20-m multistage shuttle run test (20-m MSRT), muscular strength by hand dynamometry, and MVPA and SB by accelerometry. The association of prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2 with these outcome measures was assessed by multivariable linear regressions. Results: Mean (± standard deviation) attained 20-m MSRT stage was 5.3 (± 1.7). Compared with children from normal weight women, children of women with prepregnancy overweight/obesity attained a 0.80 (95% confidence interval: 0.15-1.50) lower stage, adjusted for child's sex and MVPA. This association was not mediated by birthweight or child's FM at age 5 years. Maternal prepregnancy overweight/obesity was not associated with child's muscular strength, MVPA, or SB. Conclusions: Maternal prepregnancy overweight/obesity was associated with reduced childhood CRF, but not with muscular strength, PA, or SB. Birthweight and FM at age 5 years did not mediate this association. Reduced CRF may partly explain the increased CVD risk in children of overweight/obese women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-39
JournalChildhood Obesity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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