This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages applications to improve health outcomes for women, infants and children, by stimulating interdisciplinary research focused on maternal nutrition and pre-pregnancy obesity.
Examples of projects considered to be appropriate to this announcement include but are not limited to those that:
- Identify components of the maternal diet, caloric levels of nutrient supply, timing of nutritional restriction/ excess during gestation and lactation, or combinations thereof, which predispose towards development of obesity in the mother postpartum and the offspring during development.
- Explore the effects of supplementation with dietary micronutrients, such as vitamins related to methionine and DNA methylation (e.g. folic acid, vit B6) on food intake and/or energy expenditure of the mother and the child, maternal and newborn outcomes, and post-partum weight gain.
- Assess interventions that target modifiable factors in the maternal pre- and post-natal environment which may modulate genetic susceptibility to obesity. These factors may include psychosocial stressors, maternal behaviors such as smoking, alcohol or substance abuse, exposure to infectious and pharmacological agents, management of co-morbidities, sleep habits, timing and patterns of infant feeding, and child rearing practices.
- Describe preventive health practices that may override obesity-predisposing non- modifiable factors such as birth order, ethnicity, age and parity. Examine the effects of pre-pregnancy obesity on maternal outcomes (e.g., gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, complications of labor and delivery), type of delivery (e.g., vaginal and cesarean section), the delivery experience (hospital and home deliveries), and newborn infant outcomes (e.g., prematurity, low birth weight, large for gestational age, birth defects).
- Define effective and safe prenatal weight- reduction goals for pre-pregnant obese and non-obese women to prevent excessive gestational weight gain.
- Describe the impact of weight reduction techniques known to be effective in non-pregnant women, such as nutritional interventions and physical activity, on maternal outcomes.
- Develop and test strategies to promote the delivery of healthy infants born to obese women.