Risk of childhood obesity in the toddler offspring of mothers with gestational diabetes

Obstet Gynecol. 2013 May;121(5):976-82. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31828bf70d.


Objective: To estimate whether children aged 2-4 years of mothers with gestational diabetes are at increased risk for childhood obesity. Secondary objectives included examining the associations between maternal body mass index (BMI), gestational weight gain, large-for-gestational-age (LGA) newborns, and race or ethnicity with childhood obesity.

Methods: Retrospective cohort study of women with and without gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), and their term offspring, who delivered at a single institution between 2004 and 2007.

Results: We identified 255 woman and toddler pairs with GDM and 1,838 woman and toddler pairs without GDM. Mean BMI percentiles of toddlers of women with and without GDM did not differ (mean 51.8 percentile compared with 55.3 percentile; P=.12). Adjusted logistic regression models demonstrated increased risk of toddler obesity with higher prepregnancy BMI compared with normal-weight mothers (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.56, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.92-3.42). Additionally, LGA increased the odds of toddler overweight and obesity (adjusted OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.4-2.3).

Conclusion: Childhood obesity was not associated with GDM but was associated with higher prepregnancy maternal BMI and LGA.

Level of evidence: II.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes, Gestational*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors