Antenatal Diet and Physical Activity Intervention during Pregnancy Could Lead to Healthier Children, Study Suggests

Dec, 2021 - By SMI

Antenatal Diet and Physical Activity Intervention during Pregnancy Could Lead to Healthier Children, Study Suggests

A new research study piloted by the King's College London and supported by the British Heart Foundation and Tommy's charity have suggested that it is vital to adopt healthy lifestyle during pregnancy that could provide long-term cardiovascular benefits for their children. In this study, researchers focused how an antenatal diet and physical activity in women especially with obesity, during pregnancy positively impact the health of the women and their children three years after delivery.

The UPBEAT trial was a randomized controlled trial that focused on enhancing the diet and physical activity of obese pregnant women across the UK. These participants were provided with specific diet and exercise intervention and later comparison was made with women in a control group, without any lifestyle change during pregnancy.

Researchers’ followed-up for three years after delivery, and observed that women who underwent specific diet and exercise during pregnancy, their children exhibited low resting heart rate of -5 bpm, in comparison to children whose mother did not have lifestyle change. Moreover, researchers also reported that high resting heart rate in adults is linked with cardiovascular dysfunction and hypertension.

Kathryn Dalrymple, Lead author from King's College London stated, “This research shows that an lifestyle intervention in pregnant women, which focused on improving diet and increasing physical activity, is associated with improved cardiovascular function in the child at three-years of age and a sustained improvement in the mothers diet, three years after the intervention finished. These findings are very exciting as they add to the evidence that pregnancy is a window of opportunity to promote positive health and lifestyle changes which benefit the mother and her child.”

Researchers suggested that obesity during pregnancy propels the risk of complications in pregnancy and it also negatively impacts health of the child on a longer-tem.

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