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Optimising weight management in women of reproductive age

Associate Professor Lisa Moran, Institution: Monash University

2016 Future Leader Fellowship

Years funded: 2017-2023


Women of reproductive age are a population group at high risk for obesity. This relates to specific hormonal conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, a common condition which affects 1 in 5 Australian women and has increased obesity, infertility, diabetes, and heart disease. Pregnancy and postpartum life stages are commonly associated with weight gain, post-partum weight retention, and weight gain in the early parenting years.

They also present an opportunity to support and facilitate lifestyle change for the health of both mothers and their children. This can reduce obesity and associated diseases including heart disease later in life. Interventions in reproductive-aged women may therefore modify a woman’s risk (and that of her infant) of subsequently developing obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. This research will focus on the optimal assessment and management of obesity in reproductive-aged women during pregnancy and with polycystic ovary syndrome.

This research will assess the effect of lifestyle interventions in women with polycystic ovary syndrome and during pregnancy on weight management and cardiovascular and diabetes risk during and post-pregnancy. I will develop effective lifestyle interventions with reduced attrition, clinically meaningful changes in weight and cardiometablic risk, and successfully implement these into a variety of clinical settings.

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