There is a need to understand the separate or interdependent contributions of maternal prepregnancy BMI, gestational weight gain, glycaemic control, and macronutrient intake on the metabolic outcomes for the offspring. Experimental studies highlight that there may be separate influences of maternal obesity during the periconceptional period and late gestation on the adiposity of the offspring. While a period of dietary restriction in obese mothers may ablate the programming of obesity, it is associated with an activation of the stress axis in the offspring. Thus, maternal obesity may result in epigenetic changes which predict the need for efficient fat storage in postnatal life, while maternal weight loss may lead to epigenetic changes which predict later adversity. Thus, development of dietary interventions for obese mothers during the periconceptional period requires a greater evidence base which allows the effective weighing up of the metabolic benefits and costs for the offspring.