Background: Overweight and obesity during pregnancy is an increasing health problem.
Objective: A systematic review to assess the benefits and harms of antenatal dietary or lifestyle interventions for pregnant women who are overweight or obese.
Search strategy: The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register(CENTRAL) was searched (last search January 2010). Reference lists of retrieved studies were searched by hand. No date or language restrictions were used.
Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials comparing antenatal dietary and/or lifestyle or other interventions with no treatment for overweight or obese women were considered.Studies were evaluated independently for appropriateness for inclusion and methodological quality. The primary outcome was large-for-gestational-age infants.
Data collection and analysis: Nine randomised controlled trials were included involving 743 women who were overweight or obese during pregnancy. Seven trials compared a dietary intervention with standard antenatal care.
Main results: There were no statistically significant differences identified between women who received an antenatal intervention and those who did not for the large-for-gestational-age infant outcome (three studies; 366 women; risk ratio 2.02; 95% CI 0.84,4.86) or mean gestational weight gain [four studies; 416 women;weighted mean difference )3.10 kg; 95% CI )8.32, 2.13 (random effects model)]. There were no statistically significant differences identified for other reported outcomes.
Author's conclusions: The effect of providing an antenatal dietary intervention for overweight or obese pregnant women on maternal and infant health outcomes remains unclear.