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Children of UPBEAT

For Participants

Did you participate in the UK Pregnancy Better Eating and Activity Trial (UPBEAT)?
If yes, we are following up the mothers and their children to understand more about how the heart and blood vessels develop in children.
Please watch this video for an overview of what this study involves.

If you participated in UPBEAT and are interested, please click this link for one of the study team to contact you.


Large population-based studies have found that adult offspring born to women with obesity are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular complications and are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease. Population studies and animals models suggest that maternal obesity is associated with early evidence of cardiovascular problems in their children. For example, we have found evidence of a higher heart rate and early signs of heart complications (by MRI) in newborns of women with obesity compared to those of normal weight women. This concept is termed developmental programming, whereby common diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, may, at least in part, have origins in adverse exposures before, during, and shortly after birth.

A few years ago, we conducted a study (UPBEAT) in over 1500 pregnant women with obesity, which showed that an intervention to improve diet and physical activity reduced maternal weight gain and fat mass. Most recently, in a study of their 3-year-old children, we found evidence of different heart structure and function in children born to women with obesity, which was prevented by the improved maternal diet and physical activity programme (UPBEAT).

In this study, Children of UPBEAT, we shall measure cardiovascular structure and function in UPBEAT children when they are 10 years old, to determine whether the positive effect of the maternal intervention persists. If found to be the case, this will provide an important public health message to increase the focus on a healthy diet and physical activity in pregnancy, especially in women with obesity, to prevent cardiovascular disease in their children.


Aim 1: To evaluate the effect of a complex intervention (the UPBEAT trial) on cardiovascular function in 9-11-year-old children.

Aim 2: To explore the role of in-utero biological exposures in the development of any relationship observed between maternal obesity and childhood cardiovascular dysfunction in the UPBEAT participants.

Project status: Ongoing

Principal Investigator



Funding Body: British Heart Foundation Centre

Amount: £649,921.75

Period: February 2023 - January 2026