Epidemiological studies show that low birth weight is associated with mortality from cardiovascular disease in adulthood, indicating that chronic diseases could be influenced by hormonal or metabolic insults encountered . This concept, now known as the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease hypothesis, postulates that the intrauterine environment may alter the structure and function of the organs of the fetus as well as the expression of genes that impart an increased vulnerability to chronic diseases later in life. Lifestyle interventions initiated during the prenatal period are crucial as there is the potential to attenuate progression towards chronic diseases. However, how lifestyle interventions such as physical activity directly affect human offspring metabolism and the potential mechanisms involved in regulating metabolic balance at the cellular level are not known. The purpose of this review is to highlight the effects of exercise during pregnancy on offspring metabolic health and emphasize gaps in the current human literature and suggestions for future research.
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