Most developed countries and a growing number of low- to middle-income countries have seen an increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity, and the trend is accelerating. Obesity represents a major public health issue in women due to its association with increased insensitivity to insulin, negative implications for reproductive health, including polycystic ovary syndrome and infertility, higher obstetric risks, gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Maintaining a healthy weight throughout the different stages of life involves a number of challenges for many women. Even within the healthy weight range, weight gain increases the risks to women’s health. The prevention of excess weight gain is therefore important in all women at all ages. Catherine Lombard and Helena Teede look at key lifestyle-related issues and describe effective approaches to the early prevention and
management of weight gain.