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Preventing childhood obesity before conception

A research team from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, have recently received funding to determine if childhood obesity can be prevented even before a woman falls pregnant. They will specifically be analysing whether an exercise and nutrition program designed for mothers will have any effect on their future children’s health. Most studies up to this point have focused on programs after the woman has become pregnant, this is the first study of its kind. The Lifestyle Intervention in Preparation for Pregnancy Program (LIPP) will aim to reduce body fat and improve lipid and glucose metabolism in the body in women who are planning on having children.

For the study 200 women will be randomly assigned to two groups: usual care and LIPP, the women in LIPP will then be sub-divided into groups of 10 and receive varying amounts of education on nutrition, exercise programs and support groups. The team are currently seeking further funding so that they may be able to follow the women and any subsequent births in the future. The researchers are particularly excited as they might be able to prove that childhood obesity can in fact be prevented well before birth, and not simply treated after it has occurred.

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