The effect of a maternal plant-based diet during pregnancy on obesity and diabetes in the offspring
MetadataShow full item record
Plant-based diets have recently been gaining popularity due to emerging research that highlights their positive impact on long-term health outcomes. These studies have recently become a topic of interest among the medical community, as plant-based diets have shown to decrease the risk of obesity, stroke, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and type II diabetes in adults. However, research on plant-based diets is more limited in pregnancy and pediatrics. There are several studies that link predominantly plant-based maternal diets during pregnancy to decreased incidence of various pediatric diseases, including asthma and cancer. While the mechanism is not entirely understood, the theory is that these effects are a result of epigenetic mechanisms known as “metabolic programming”. However, more research is needed to determine whether or not plant-based diets in pregnant women would have the same beneficial epigenetic effects on cardiovascular risk factors in the offspring, given the positive cardiovascular effects they have in adults. The proposed study is a longitudinal study in which researchers will follow female patients through the course of their pregnancy and then through the development of the offspring, in order to define the link between maternal diet during pregnancy and the incidence of childhood obesity and diabetes in the offspring. With the high incidence of obesity in children in the United States, it would be worthwhile to determine whether or not prenatal factors, such as the maternal diet, are contributing to this public health problem.