Preconception Lifestyle and Cardiovascular Health in the Offspring of Overweight and Obese Women

Tessa M. van Elten*, Cornelieke van de Beek, Anouk Geelen, Reinoud J.B.J. Gemke, Henk Groen, Annemieke Hoek, Ben Willem Mol, Mireille N.M. van Poppel, Tessa J. Roseboom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Women’s lifestyle has important implications for the development and health of their offspring. Yet little is known about the association between women’s preconception dietary intake and physical activity with cardiovascular health of the offspring. We therefore examined this association in a group of Dutch women with overweight or obesity (BMI ≥ 29 kg/m2) and infertility, who participated in a 6-month randomized preconception lifestyle intervention trial, and their offspring (n = 46). Preconception dietary intake and physical activity were assessed during the 6-month intervention using a food frequency questionnaire and the Short QUestionnaire to ASsess Health-enhancing physical activity (SQUASH), respectively. Offspring cardiovascular health (i.e., BMI, waist:height ratio, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, fat and fat free mass, and pulse wave velocity) was measured at age 3–6 years. Multivariable linear regression analyses were used to examine the associations between preconception lifestyle and offspring cardiovascular health. Higher preconception vegetable intake (per 10 g/day) was associated with lower offspring diastolic blood pressure (Z-score: −0.05 (−0.08; −0.01); p = 0.007) and higher preconception fruit intake (per 10 g/day) was associated with lower offspring pulse wave velocity (−0.05 m/s (−0.10; −0.01); p = 0.03). Against our expectations, higher preconception intake of sugary drinks was associated with a higher offspring fat free mass (0.54 kg (0.01; 1.07); p = 0.045). To conclude, preconception dietary intake is associated with offspring health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2446
Number of pages12
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note


The LIFEstyle study was funded by ZonMw, the Dutch Organization for Health Research and Development, grant number: 50-50110-96-518. The follow-up of the LIFEstyle trial was funded by grants from the Dutch Heart Foundation (2013T085) and the European Commission (Horizon2020 project 633595 DynaHealth). None of these organizations had a role in data collection, analysis, interpretation of data, or writing the report.


We thank all participants of the WOMB project, all participating hospitals and their staff and the members of the Dutch Consortium ( for their hard work and dedication. Furthermore,we thank all members of the WOMB project who contributed to the follow-up study.

Data Availability Statement

Supplementary Materials:

The following are available online at, Table S1: Women and offspring characteristics of the participants (n = 46) vs. the non-participants (n = 259), Table S2: Linear regression analysis of the preconception food score (0–5 points; the higher the more healthy) and offspring cardiovascular health at age 3–6 years.


  • Offspring anthropometry
  • Offspring blood pressure
  • Offspring pulse wave velocity
  • Preconception dietary intake
  • Preconception physical activity


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