Please cite this paper as: Dodd J, Grivell R, Crowther C, Robinson J. Antenatal interventions for overweight or obese pregnant women: a systematic review of randomised trials. BJOG 2010;117:1316–1326.
Background Overweight and obesity during pregnancy is an increasing health problem.
Objective A systematic review to assess the benefits and harms of antenatal dietary or lifestyle interventions for pregnant women who are overweight or obese.
Search strategy The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CENTRAL) was searched (last search January 2010). Reference lists of retrieved studies were searched by hand. No date or language restrictions were used.
Selection criteria Randomised controlled trials comparing antenatal dietary and/or lifestyle or other interventions with no treatment for overweight or obese women were considered. Studies were evaluated independently for appropriateness for inclusion and methodological quality. The primary outcome was large-for-gestational-age infants.
Data collection and analysis Nine randomised controlled trials were included involving 743 women who were overweight or obese during pregnancy. Seven trials compared a dietary intervention with standard antenatal care.
Main results There were no statistically significant differences identified between women who received an antenatal intervention and those who did not for the large-for-gestational-age infant outcome (three studies; 366 women; risk ratio 2.02; 95% CI 0.84, 4.86) or mean gestational weight gain [four studies; 416 women; weighted mean difference −3.10 kg; 95% CI −8.32, 2.13 (random-effects model)]. There were no statistically significant differences identified for other reported outcomes.
Author’s conclusions The effect of providing an antenatal dietary intervention for overweight or obese pregnant women on maternal and infant health outcomes remains unclear.