Studies demonstrate associations between changes in obesity-related phenotypes and cardiovascular risk. Although maternal pre-pregnancy BMI (mppBMI) and gestational weight gain (GWG) may be associated with adult offspring adiposity, no study has examined associations with obesity changes. Associations of mppBMI and GWG with longitudinal change in offspring's BMI (ΔBMI) were examined, and whether associations are explained by offspring genetics was assessed.


A birth cohort of 1400 adults, with data at birth, age 17 and 32 years was used. After genotyping offspring, genetic scores, predictive of exposures and outcome were created, and linear regression models with and without scores were fit to examine the associations of mppBMI and GWG with ΔBMI.


A one SD change in mppBMI and GWG was associated with a 0.83 and a 0.75 kg/m² increase in ΔBMI, respectively. The association between mppBMI and offspring ΔBMI was slightly attenuated (12%) with the addition of genetic scores. In the GWG model, a significant substantial 28.2% decrease in the coefficient was observed.


This study points to an association between maternal excess weight in pregnancy and offspring BMI change from adolescence to adulthood. Genetic factors may account, in part, for GWG/ΔBMI association. These findings broaden observations that maternal obesity-related phenotypes have long-term consequences for offspring health.