Obesity, Reproduction and Pregnancy

Obesity, Reproduction and Pregnancy (ORP) Systematic Review (2014)

Welcome to the Obesity, Reproductin and Pregnancy EAL project page. This project was published in 2014. Highlights of this project include:
  • Target audience of adults.
  • Three (3) sub-topic areas of Preconception Period, Gestational Period and Postpartum Period. Use the links on the left to access the evidence analysis questions and results.
  • Project results will be used to update the 2009 Academy position paper. Expand the Project Resources section for a copy of the article.
  • Project Team
    The following individuals contributed their valuable time and expertise to this project:  

    Workgroup Members
    • Tracey Ledoux, PhD, RD
    • Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, LD
    • Alyce Thomas, RD
    • Anne Davis, PhD, RD
    • Judith Brown, PhD, RD
    • Shirley Ekvall, PhD, RD, LD
    • Jennifer Weddig, PhD, RD, CLC (resigned 9/2013)
    Project Manager
    • Tami Piemonte, MS, RD
    Lead Analyst
    • Sue Benson-Davies, PhD, DCN, MPH, RD, LN
    Academy Position Committee Workgroup Memberes
    • Aida Mills, MMSc, RD, LD
    • Denise Andersen, MS, RD, LD

    Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest: In the interest of full disclosure, the Academy has adopted the policy of revealing relationships workgroup members have with companies that sell products or services that are relevant to this topic. Workgroup members are required to disclose potential conflicts of interest by completing the Academy Conflict of Interest Form. It should not be assumed that these financial interests will have an adverse impact on the content, but they are noted here to fully inform readers.
    • None of the workgroup members listed above disclosed potential conflicts.
  • Project Resources
    Position of the Academy of Nutrition and DIetetics: Obesity, Reproducton and Pregnancy Outcomes
     It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that all women of reproductive age receive education about maternal and fetal risks associated with prepregnancy obesity, excessive gestational weight gain, and significant postpartum weightretention, including potential benefits of lifestyle changes. Behavioral counseling to improve dietary intake and physical activity should be provided to overweight and obese women, beginning in the preconception period and continuing throughout pregnancy, for at least 12 to 18 months postpartum. Weight loss before pregnancy may improve fertility and reduce the risk of poor maternalfetal outcomes, such as preterm birth, gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia, assisted delivery, and select congenital anomalies. Lifestyle interventions that moderate gestational weight gain may reduce the risk of poor pregnancy outcomes, such as gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, large for gestational age, and macrosomia, as well as lower the risk for significant postpartum retention. Postpartum interventions that promote healthy diet and physical activity behaviors may reduce postpartum weight retention and decrease obesity-related risks in subsequent pregnancies. Analysis of the evidence suggests that there is good evidence to support the role of diet, physical activity, and behavior changes in promoting optimal weight gain during pregnancy; however, there is currently a relative lack of evidence in other areas related to reproductive outcomes.J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016;116:677-691 (PDF)

    Position of the American Dietetic Association and American Society of Nutrition: Obesity, Reproduction, and Pregnancy Outcomes
    Abstract: Given the detrimental influence of maternal overweight and obesity on reproductive and pregnancy outcomes for the mother and child, it is the position of the American Dietetic Association and the American Society for Nutrition that all overweight and obese women of reproductive age should receive counseling on the roles of diet and physical activity in reproductive health prior to pregnancy, during pregnancy, and in the interconceptional period, in order to ameliorate these adverse outcomes. The effect of maternal nutritional status prior to pregnancy on reproduction and pregnancy outcomes is of great public health importance. Obesity in the United States and worldwide has grown to epidemic proportions with an estimated 33% of US women being classified as obese. This position paper has two objectives: (a) to help nutrition professionals become aware of the risks and possible complications of overweight and/or obesity for fertility, the course of pregnancy, birth outcomes, and short- and long-term maternal and child health outcomes; and (b)  related to the American Dietetic Association's and the American Society for Nutrition's commitment to research, to identify the gaps in research to improve our knowledge of the risk and complications associated with being overweight and obese prior to and during pregnancy. Only with an increased knowledge of these risks and complications, can health care professionals develop effective strategies that can be implemented prior to and during pregnancy as well as during the interconceptional period to ameliorate adverse outcomes.  J Am Diet Assoc. 2008;109:918-927 (PDF)