The effects of a preconception lifestyle intervention on childhood cardiometabolic health—follow-up of a randomized controlled trial

Stijn Mintjens, Mireille N. M. van Poppel, Henk Groen, Annemieke Hoek, Ben Willem Mol, Rebecca C. Painter, Reinoud J. B. J. Gemke, Tessa J. Roseboom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Maternal obesity is associated with adverse metabolic outcomes in her offspring, from the earliest stages of development leading to obesity and poorer cardiometabolic health in her offspring. We investigated whether an effective preconception lifestyle intervention in obese women affected cardiometabolic health of their offspring. We randomly allocated 577 infertile women with obesity to a 6-month lifestyle intervention, or to prompt infertility management. Of the 305 eligible children, despite intensive efforts, 17 in the intervention and 29 in the control group were available for follow-up at age 3–6 years. We compared the child’s Body Mass Index (BMI) Z score, waist and hip circumference, body-fat percentage, blood pressure Z scores, pulse wave velocity and serum lipids, glucose and insulin concentrations. Between the intervention and control groups, the mean (±SD) offspring BMI Z score (0.69 (±1.17) vs. 0.62 (±1.04)) and systolic and diastolic blood pressure Z scores (0.45 (±0.65) vs. 0.54 (±0.57); 0.91 (±0.66) vs. 0.96 (±0.57)) were similar, although elevated compared to the norm population. We also did not detect any differences between the groups in the other outcomes. In this study, we could not detect effects of a preconception lifestyle intervention in obese infertile women on the cardiometabolic health of their offspring. Low follow-up rates, perhaps due to the children’s age or the subject matter, combined with selection bias abating contrast in periconceptional weight between participating mothers, hampered the detection of potential effects. Future studies that account for these factors are needed to confirm whether a preconception lifestyle intervention may improve the cardiometabolic health of children of obese mothers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Cardiometabolic health
  • Childhood obesity
  • Follow-up
  • Lifestyle intervention
  • Maternal obesity
  • Programming

Cite this