OBJECTIVE. Our aim was to compare the prevalence of obesity in 172 children who were aged 2 to 18 years and born to 113 obese mothers (BMI: 31 ± 9 kg/m2) with substantial weight loss after biliopancreatic bypass surgery with 45 same-age siblings who were born before maternal surgery (mothers’ BMI: 48 ± 8 kg/m2) and with current population standards.
METHODS. In this case series, with >88% follow-up in a tertiary referral center, crosssectional office chart and telephone data on childhood and adolescent weights were transformed to z scores.
RESULTS. After maternal surgery, the prevalence of obesity in the offspring decreased by 52% and severe obesity by 45.1%, with no increase in the prevalence of underweight. The z score reduction in obesity was gender specific, with boys reducing from 1.4 ± 1.3 before to 0.57 ± 1.7 after maternal surgery, corrected for birth order. The difference was not significant in girls (0.8 ± 1.3 vs 0.8 ± 1.2). Among children of both genders who were aged 6 to 18 years of age and born after maternal surgery, the prevalence of overweight was reduced to population levels.
CONCLUSIONS. Contrary to outcomes after intrauterine under- and overnutrition, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children of mothers with large voluntary postsurgical weight loss was similar to that in the general population, with no increase in underweight. The results demonstrate the importance of potentially modifiable epigenetic factors in the cause of obesity.
- Accepted June 15, 2006.
- Copyright © 2006 by the American Academy of Pediatrics