Offspring from women with diabetes have an increased risk for childhood obesity, which may be related to the abnormal intrauterine environment, genetic imprinting or current diet and lifestyle. We analyzed whether diet and lifestyle differ between offspring from women with either type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes.
We collected completed questionnaires from parents of 51 offspring from women with type 1 diabetes (ODM1), 21 of women with type 2 diabetes (ODM2) and 87 of women with gestational diabetes (OGDM).
All women with a pregnancy complicated by type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes, who delivered between 1990 and 2006 in a tertiary center were contacted for this retrospective study. We compared offspring diet and lifestyle between offspring of maternal diabetes.
The prevalence of maternal overweight/obesity before pregnancy was significantly higher in women with DM2 compared to GDM and DM1; their offspring had a slightly higher incidence of overweight at follow-up as compared to the other groups. ODM2 skipped breakfast more often and were less frequently a member of a sports club but consumed less snacks. Intake of fruit, vegetables and sugar containing drinks were comparable between the groups. ODM2 parents judged their offspring as being more vulnerable and less healthy compared to peers, whilst ODM1 and OGDM parents report their children's' health comparable to peers.
Lifestyle and dietary intake in childhood can be affected by different environmental and lifestyle factors. In this relatively small study offspring from women with type 2 diabetes seem to have a less healthy diet and lifestyle with might contribute to their increased risk of development of obesity later in life. Larger studies are needed to provide possible targeted interventions for prevention of childhood overweight/obesity in these children.