Weight-loss surgery prior to pregnancy results in lower prevalence of obesity in children

September 09, 2017

Specifically, researchers studied 49 mothers who had undergone BPD surgery and their 111 children (between the ages of 2.5 and 25 years). All mothers in this study had children born before and then after their weight-loss surgery. The research found that children who were born after their mother underwent weight-loss surgery had reduced birth weight and waist circumference and were three times less likely to become severely obese. Furthermore, children born after their mother's weight-loss surgery had improved cardiovascular markers including reduced insulin resistance and lower cholesterol.

"To our knowledge, our paper is the first to demonstrate that dramatic maternal weight loss causes metabolic improvements in their children," said Kral. "Our findings show that obese women should be encouraged to lose weight before becoming pregnant, and then, once pregnant, should limit their weight gain. For those women interested in both surgical treatment and having children, we believe surgery should come first. Preventing obesity and treating it effectively in young women could prevent further transmission to future generations."

Other researchers working on the study include J. Smith, K. Cianflone, S. Simard and Picard Marceau of the Centre de Recherche Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et Pneumologie de Quebec in Canada; S. Biron, S. Lebel, S. Marceau, O. Lescelleur and L. Biertho of Laval University in Quebec, Canada; and J.G. Kral of SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.The article, "Effects of maternal surgical weight loss on intergenerational transmission of obesity," will appear in the November 2009 issue of JCEM.