Association between Maternal Fish Consumption and Gestational Weight Gain: Influence of Molecular Genetic Predisposition to Obesity

Sofus C Larsen, Lars Ängquist, Charles Laurin, Camilla S Morgen, Marianne U Jakobsen, Lavinia Paternoster, George Davey Smith, Sjurdur F Olsen, Thorkild Sorensen, Ellen A Nohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
223 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Studies suggest that fish consumption can restrict weight gain. However, little is known about how fish consumption affects gestational weight gain (GWG), and whether this relationship depends on genetic makeup.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between fish consumption and GWG, and whether this relationship is dependent on molecular genetic predisposition to obesity.

DESIGN: A nested case-cohort study based on the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) sampling the most obese women (n = 990) and a random sample of the remaining participants (n = 1,128). Replication of statistically significant findings was attempted in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) (n = 4,841). We included 32 body mass index (BMI) associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 5 SNPs found associated with GWG. BMI associated SNPs were combined in a genetic risk score (GRS). Associations between consumption of fish, GRS or individual variants and GWG were analysed, and interactions between fish and the GRS or individual variants were examined.

RESULTS: In the DNBC, each portion/week (150 g) of fatty fish was associated with a higher GWG of 0.58 kg (95% CI: 0.16, 0.99, P<0.01). For total fish and lean fish, similar patterns were observed, but these associations were not statistically significant. We found no association between GRS and GWG, and no interactions between GRS and dietary fish on GWG. However, we found an interaction between the PPARG Pro12Ala variant and dietary fish. Each additional Pro12Ala G-allele was associated with a GWG of -0.83 kg (95% CI: -1.29, -0.37, P<0.01) per portion/week of dietary fish, with the same pattern for both lean and fatty fish. In ALSPAC, we were unable to replicate these findings.

CONCLUSION: We found no consistent evidence of association between fish consumption and GWG, and our results indicate that the association between dietary fish and GWG has little or no dependency on GRS or individual SNPs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0150105
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Obesity
  • Body mass index
  • Pregnancy
  • Weight gain
  • Human genetics
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Physical activity

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