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Persistent effects of in utero overnutrition on offspring adiposity: the Exploring Perinatal Outcomes among Children (EPOCH) study – published online 23/08/2019

Persistent effects of in utero overnutrition on offspring adiposity: the Exploring Perinatal Outcomes among Children (EPOCH) study – published online 23/08/2019

Christine W. Hockett, Kylie K. Harrall, Brianna F. Moore, Anne P. Starling, Anna Bellatorre, Katherine A. Sauder, Wei Perng, Ann Scherzinger, Kavita Garg, Brandy M. Ringham, Deborah H. Glueck, Dana Dabelea

Previous studies have shown that exposure to gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in utero is associated with increased levels of adiposity in the offspring. However, few studies have investigated the effects of intrauterine GDM exposure on fat patterning and distribution in offspring, specifically over time, while they are transitioning through puberty. In this issue, Hockett et al (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-019-04981-z) report that, on average, offspring exposed to GDM in utero have higher levels of adiposity compared with offspring not exposed to GDM, and that the magnitude of these differences do not change over time. They state that these findings provide evidence that the effects of fetal overnutrition on offspring adiposity are established early in life, likely before puberty, and track throughout adolescence. The authors suggest that efforts to prevent childhood obesity should focus on the pre-conception and prenatal periods of life.

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