Women of reproductive age represent a sub-population with one of the highest increases in obesity rates in recent years. This means that many women enter pregnancy already overweight or obese. Moreover, many women gain too much weight during pregnancy, which is called excessive gestational weight gain. This means that some women have a substantial amount of weight to lose in the postpartum period, which many do not achieve. This persistent weight gain can worsen with subsequent pregnancies. Excessive GWG and prolonged postpartum weight retention have been shown to result in an elevated body mass index up to 15 years following childbirth, which is associated with adverse long-term health issues for both mother and child. It is therefore evident that there is an urgent need to investigate antenatal and postnatal weight management strategies and to provide evidence-based advice for exercise and/or nutrition-based interventions.
- Brief description of the causes and consequences of maternal obesity
- Overview of when it is best to intervene; pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy, following childbirth
- Overview of how it is best to intervene; exercise, nutrition, or lifestyle (combined) interventions