Adiposity, psychomotor and behaviour outcomes of children born after maternal bariatric surgery

Karolien Van De Maele, Annick Bogaerts, Jean De Schepper, Steven Provyn, Dries Ceulemans, Isabelle Guelinckx, Inge Gies, Roland Devlieger

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4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Bariatric surgery before pregnancy can result in improved maternal fertility. However, long-term data on the consequences at childhood age are currently lacking.

METHODS: EFFECTOR is a prospective cohort study of children (aged 4 to 11 years) born to mothers who underwent bariatric surgery (BS) before pregnancy (n = 36), controls with overweight/obesity (OW/OB) matched on pre-pregnancy BMI (n = 36) and normal weight controls (NL) (n = 35). We performed prospective collection of anthropometric data, data on psychomotor development, school functioning and behaviour (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL)).

RESULTS: The children born after bariatric surgery (BS) presented with the highest body-weight SDS (0.70 vs 0.14 in OW/OB and -0.09 in NL; P = .006) and BMI SDS (0.47 vs -0.02 in OW/OB and -0.42 in NL; P = .01). A higher excess in body fat percentage and waist circumference SDS were found in the BS group (5.7 vs 1.4 in OW/OB and -0.1 in NL; P < .001 and 0.61 vs 0.16 in OW/OB and -0.15 in NL; P = .04). The SDQ questionnaires revealed a higher amount of overall problems in the BS offspring (11.1 vs 7.5 in OW/OB and 8.1 in NL; P = .03), with a higher externalizing score at the CBCL (52.0 vs 44.2 in OW/OB and 47.0 in NL; P = .03).

CONCLUSION: Maternal bariatric surgery does not appear to protect the offspring for childhood overweight and obesity. Parents reported more behaviour problems in these children, especially externally of nature.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12749
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Obesity
Issue number5
Early online date17 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2020 World Obesity Federation.


  • Maternal bariatric surgery
  • maternal obesity
  • paediatric obesity


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