Associations of Maternal Prepregnancy Body Mass Index and Gestational Weight Gain With Physical Fitness in Childhood

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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  • 1 Harokopio University
  • 2 Rutgers University
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Purpose: To investigate the potential associations of maternal prepregnancy body mass index (mppBMI) and gestational weight gain (GWG) with physical fitness in children. Methods: A random sample of 5125 children and their mothers was evaluated. The mothers provided data contained in their medical booklets and pregnancy ultrasound records. The data from 5 physical fitness tests (eg, 20-m shuttle run, 30-m sprint, vertical jump, standing long jump, and small ball throw) were used to assess children’s cardiorespiratory fitness, speed, explosive power, and lower and upper body strength, respectively. Results: MppBMI was inversely associated with cardiorespiratory fitness (b = −0.02), lower body strength (b = −1.01), upper body strength (b = −0.07), and speed (b = 0.04). Also, GWG was unfavorably associated with cardiorespiratory fitness (b = −0.02), lower body strength (b = −1.12), upper body strength (b = −0.03), and speed (b = 0.03), after adjusting for sex, birth weight, and children’s BMI (all P values < .05). Children of mothers with an mppBMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 and excess GWG had almost 30% and 20% increased odds for low performances in physical fitness tests than those of mothers with an mppBMI < 25 kg/m2 and adequate GWG, respectively. Conclusions: Antenatal factors such as increased mppBMI and excess GWG could play an unfavorable role in the future health of the offspring.

Tambalis, Mourtakos, and Sidossis are with the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Science and Education, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece. Sidossis is also with the Department of Kinesiology and Health, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

Tambalis (dp425603@hua.gr) is corresponding author.
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