The association of a low glycaemic index diet in pregnancy with child body composition at 5 years of age: A secondary analysis of the ROLO study

Type Article

Journal Article


S. Callanan; C. A. Yelverton; A. A. Geraghty; E. C. O'Brien; J. M. Donnelly; E. Larkin; M. K. Horan; J. Mehegan; F. M. McAuliffe

Year of publication



Pediatric Obesity







Introduction: Childhood obesity remains a significant global health concern. Early intervention through maternal diet during pregnancy represents a possible mode of improving childhood adiposity. Aim: To examine the impact of a low glycaemic index diet during pregnancy on offspring anthropometry at 5 years of age. Methods: This is a secondary analysis of 387 children from the ROLO pregnancy study 5 years' post-intervention. At the follow-up, BMI, circumferences and skinfold thickness were obtained. A subgroup of 103 children had a DXA scan completed. Statistical analyses included Independent sample t tests, Mann Whitney-U tests and chi-square tests to compare the intervention and control groups. Adjusted analysis using linear regression controlled for significant confounders between participants who returned at follow-up and those that did not. Results: There were no significant differences in BMI (16.05 kg/m2 vs 16.16 kg/m2, P = 0.403), general adiposity (36.60 mm vs 36.00 mm, P = 0.920), central adiposity (0.61 mm vs 0.60 mm, P = 0.540), total fat mass (4.91 kg vs 4.71 kg, P = 0.377) or total lean mass (14.29 kg vs 14.56 kg, P = 0.386) between the intervention and control groups, respectively. No associations were observed in 5-year outcomes in adjusted analyses when controlling for maternal age at delivery, maternal early pregnancy BMI, maternal education and gestational age. Conclusion: Our study found no evidence that a low glycaemic index diet in pregnancy impacts offspring anthropometry 5 years' post-intervention. Therefore, modulating maternal carbohydrate quality in pregnancy may not be an appropriate approach to improving weight status in childhood. Future research should investigate the impact of other dietary practices in pregnancy on child health.