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Reducing intergenerational obesity and diabetes risk – published online 06/01/2021

Katherine A. Sauder, Natalie D. Ritchie

Strategies promoting the health of women of reproductive age are urgently needed to reduce intergenerational transmission of obesity and diabetes risk. In this issue, Sauder and Ritchie (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-020-05341-y) summarise findings and gaps arising from published studies of prenatal and preconception lifestyle interventions. They demonstrate that prenatal interventions have shown some success in limiting gestational weight gain and reducing risk of gestational diabetes but have had little impact on offspring outcomes at birth or beyond. Preconception interventions have been successful in reducing weight and improving glucose metabolism by the end of intervention, but whether effects were sustained to conception or whether the interventions had an impact on offspring outcomes is unclear. The authors conclude that future clinical trials should include interventions with high potential for dissemination, diverse populations, thorough maternal phenotyping from enrolment through to conception and pregnancy, and rigorous assessment of offspring obesity and diabetes risks from birth onwards, including into the third generation. The figure from this review is available as a downloadable slide

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