We know that we are facing an obesity epidemic that is costing Australians $58 billion per annum.
Rates are continuing to rise with obesity projected to affect 75% of the Australian population by 2030. This unsustainable burden of disease will only increase unless the cycle of obesity is broken.
Evidence shows that maternal excess weight gain during early pregnancy (i.e. first trimester) has been identified as a critical window of opportunity for short term interventions to break the "transmission" of obesity from one generation to the next.
Recruitment for the Pregnancy Lifestyle Activity and Nutrition (PLAN) Project will take place at 6-8 weeks gestation and follow a 12 week lifestyle intervention program in conjunction with routine antenatal care for private and public patients.
The aim of the PLAN project is to test whether a lifestyle intervention in early pregnancy reduces offspring adiposity.
Taking advantage of the growing advancements in medical technology, this project will use smartphone web based applications to deliver diet, physical activity and wellbeing advice to women who begin their pregnancy overweight (pre-pregnancy BMI > 25).
Participants will have access to a live graph to maintain their weight gain according to Institute of Medicine guidelines. We hope to optimise gestational weight gain and provide a platform for a healthy pregnancy for women.
The PLAN project will examine epigenetic biomarkers (differential DNA methylation), determining if these are modified by optimisation of gestational weight gain or associated maternal lifestyle changes.
Even small changes in infant adiposity have the potential to change future obesity trajectory, leading to a lifetime of cost savings.