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PI, Mireille van Poppel

Maternal physical activity and neonatal body composition

The objective is to investigate effects of maternal physical activity (PA) on 1) low grade inflammation, assessed with cytokines, in mother and neonate (AH), 2) maternal and neonatal glucose and lipid levels (GM, CW), and 3) to link these effects with fetal growth and neonatal body composition (DU). Data and samples from the EU-wide DALI randomized trial, evaluating three lifestyle interventions (PA, diet, or a combination thereof) among 436 obese pregnant women will be used. Data on maternal PA and diet, blood samples and ultrasound scans were collected at study entry (15-17 weeks) and then at 24-28 and 35-37 weeks of gestation. Cord blood was collected, and neonatal anthropometric parameters measured within 48 h after birth. Effects of the interventions on maternal and neonatal cytokines, glucose, insulin, and lipids, fetal growth, and neonatal body composition will be analyzed. It will be assessed whether effects on neonatal body composition are due to changes in maternal and/or neonatal cytokines, glucose or lipids (GM). Sex differences and differences of PA in early versus late pregnancy will be determined. The results will have direct implications for health care: this project will make clear whether PA intervention alone is sufficient for improving offspring body composition or whether it needs to be combined with a dietary intervention. Furthermore, when PA in early pregnancy is most relevant for outcomes, this implies that interventions need start before most women have contact with a health care provider, i.e. either before or very early in pregnancy

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