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Lifelong Health Research

Lifelong Health Research strives to ensure that care for women and their infants is effective, and that treatment benefits outweigh harms. Our motto is start early, stay healthy, stop obesity.

Randomised trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses remain the gold standard research methodology for establishing the effects of different forms of care. Our group has led a randomised control trial involving 2,212 pregnant women with overweight or obesity, investigating a dietary and lifestyle intervention to reduce the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes (the LIMIT Trial).

Our current projects include:

  • a randomised controlled trial evaluating the role of metformin (a type 2 diabetes medication) in pregnancy as an adjunct to dietary intervention for women with overweight or obesity (the GRoW Trial)
  • a dietary intervention for women of normal BMI as a strategy to prevent postpartum weight retention (the Optimise Trial)

To determine whether interventions in pregnancy can reduce the risk of obesity for women and their children, we are undertaking a longer term follow-up of the women, and their children, who participated in these trials. We have successfully followed the children from the LIMIT trial at six and 18 months and three to five years and are completing six and 18 months follow-up of the children from the GRoW and Optimise Trials.

Future work will focus on follow-up of the children in the LIMIT Trial at eight to ten years and a dietary and lifestyle intervention trial for women who are overweight or obese and are planning to conceive.

Lead researcher: Professor Jodie Dodd


Research team

  • Andrea Deussen (Clinical Trials Manager)
Research support
  • Jennie Louise (Senior Statistician)
  • Angela Newman (Research Coordinator)
  • Ashlee Jacobssen
  • Lavern Kannieappan
  • Caroline Sheppard
  • Dr Cecelia O’Brien (PhD candidate)
  • Dr Casey Nottage (PhD candidate)
  • Dr Amanda Poprzecny (PhD candidate)


  • Catherine Hoyo, North Carolina State University
  • Adrienne Gordon, University of Sydney
  • Project EarlyNutrition and Horizon 2020 European Union Projects
  • Suzanne Phelan, California Polytech State University, the United States of America
  • i-WIP (International Weight Management in Pregnancy) Collaborative Network
  • i-WiP Early Childhood Follow-up Collaborative Group
  • MCA Doppler Collaborative Group

Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree with us?

We offer exciting opportunities for researchers at the honours, masters and PhD levels. Our research degrees are open to students from a broad range of backgrounds, and range from basic sciences to clinical research. If you are interested in human health, consider furthering your research career with us.