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Fatty fish intake in mothers during pregnancy and in their children in relation to the development of obesity and overweight in childhood: The prospective ABIS study

Journal article
Authors K. Duchen
Å O. Faresjö
Sofia Klingberg
T. Faresjö
J. Ludvigsson
Published in Obesity Science and Practice
Volume 6
Issue 1
Pages 57-69
ISSN 20552238 (ISSN)
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 57-69
Language en
Keywords children, fish, obesity, omega-3, risk factors, omega 3 fatty acid, phospholipid, polyunsaturated fatty acid, age, anthropometry, Article, autoimmune disease, birth weight, body height, body mass, body weight, breast feeding, child, diet, dietary intake, education, family history, fatty fish, female, fish consumption, gender, gestational age, height, household income, human, income, infection, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, lipedema, major clinical study, male, maternal age, maternal nutrition, maternal smoking, physical activity, pregnancy, preschool child, prevalence, priority journal, prospective study, public health, questionnaire, risk factor, school child, smoking, underweight
Subject categories Nutrition and Dietetics


Background: Although controversial, lower maternal intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) during pregnancy and lower levels of omega-3 PUFA in serum phospholipids during childhood have been related to obesity. The main source of omega-3 PUFA is fatty fish in the diet. Objectives: To assess the relationship between overweight/obesity and the intake of fatty fish in maternal diet during pregnancy and in children up to 8 years of age. Methods: The prospective cohort All Children in South-East Sweden (ABIS) followed babies from birth to 8 years of age. A total of 6749 children at 5 years of age (boys 52.6%) and 3017 children at 8 years (boys 52.3%) participated. A “fatty-fish index” was constructed on the basis of self-reports of nutritional habits. Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity in children at 5 years were 12.9% and 4.2%, respectively. At 8 years, 12.2% of the children presented overweight and 2.3% obesity. Girls were more affected than boys by overweight/obesity. A higher fish index during pregnancy was not related to overweight/obesity in the children, whereas a higher fish index in the children during the first years of life was related to obesity at 5 and 8 years of age. This relationship disappeared in a multivariable analysis. Maternal body mass index (BMI), maternal education, maternal smoking during pregnancy, birth weight, and physical activity all remained related to overweight/obesity at both 5 and 8 years of age. Conclusion: No relationships were found between a lower intake of fatty fish in the diet, neither in mothers during pregnancy nor in early childhood, and increased risk of overweight/obesity. © 2019 The Authors. Obesity Science & Practice published by World Obesity and The Obesity Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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