Nutritional Changes and Sports Have a Beneficial Effect on Pregnancy

Nutritional Changes and Sports Have a Beneficial Effect on Pregnancy

Highly overweight women of childbearing age, including almost every second woman worldwide, often put on weight disproportionately during pregnancy and endanger themselves and the unborn child (1). For example, about 11 % of all infant deaths in the first 28 weeks of life are associated with the morbid overweight of their mothers (2). A healthy diet and moderate exercise can slow down this unhealthy weight gain. Contrary to the ubiquitous assumption a change in lifestyle does not adversely affect the course of pregnancy, as now affirmed by a comprehensive analysis in the British Medical Journal (1). Studies show that in a health-promoting lifestyle less caesarian deliveries are necessary. Moderate exercise particularly reduces the likelihood of hypertension or type 2 diabetes during pregnancy and a healthy diet is statistically significant related with a lower rate of premature births.


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  1. The International Weight Management in Pregnancy (i-WIP) Collaborative Group. Effect of diet and physical activity based interventions in pregnancy on gestational weight gain and pregnancy outcomes: meta-analysis of individual participant data from randomised trials. BMJ 2017; 358 doi: (Published 19 July 2017)
  2. Cf. JM Dodd et al. The effects of antenatal dietary and lifestyle advice for women who are overweight or obese on neonatal health outcomes: the LIMIT randomised trial. BMC Medicine201412:163.


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