October 27, 2020

Pre-pregnancy weight loss may reduce maternal complications and provide long-term benefits to offspring

Charles F. Burant, MD, PhD

Women with obesity before and during pregnancy are at risk of more complications than leaner women, including hypertension, gestational diabetes and increased need for Caesarian delivery.  Their children also have an increased risk of obesity and other metabolic problems.

Some of the risk in children may be due to programming of the fetus by exposure to an altered environment due to obesity during gestation causing ‘epigenetic’ changes in their DNA.

Michigan Medicine researchers led by Taubman Institute Director Charles F. Burant, MD, PhD (Professor of Molecular & Integrative Physiology),  have received a $3.3 million grant to study what happens to a woman and her child if the woman participates in a weight-loss program prior to becoming pregnant. The team is recruiting subjects for the study via https://umhealthresearch.org/#studies/HUM00124673.

The funds were awarded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health, the nation’s medical research agency.  For more information, visit the Taubman Institute news site.