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Keywords:

  • diet intervention;
  • exercise intervention;
  • fetal programming;
  • maternal obesity

Maternal obesity is a global epidemic affecting both developed and developing countries. Human and animal studies indicate that maternal obesity adversely programs the development of offspring, predisposing them to chronic diseases later in life. Several mechanisms act together to produce these adverse health effects. There is a consequent need for effective interventions that can be used in the management of human pregnancy to prevent these outcomes. The present review analyzes the dietary and exercise intervention studies performed to date in both altricial and precocial animals, rats and sheep, with the aim of preventing adverse offspring outcomes. The results of these interventions present exciting opportunities to prevent, at least in part, adverse metabolic and other outcomes in obese mothers and their offspring.