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The proportion of women of reproductive age who are overweight or obese is increasing globally. Gestational obesity is strongly associated in both human studies and animal models with early-onset development of adult-associated metabolic diseases including metabolic syndrome in the exposed offspring. However, animal model studies have suggested that gestational diet in obese pregnancies is an independent but underappreciated mediator of offspring risk for later life metabolic disease, and human diet consumption data have highlighted that many women do not follow nutritional guidelines prior to and during pregnancy. Thus, this review will highlight how maternal diet independent from maternal body composition impacts the risk for later-life metabolic disease in obesity-exposed offspring. A poor maternal diet, in combination with the obese metabolic state, are understood to facilitate pathological in utero programming, specifically through changes in lipid handling processes in the villous trophoblast layer of the placenta that promote an environment associated with the development of metabolic disease in the offspring. This review will additionally highlight how maternal obesity modulates villous trophoblast lipid processing functions including fatty acid transport, esterification and beta-oxidation. Further, this review will discuss how altering maternal gestational diet may ameliorate these functional changes in lipid metabolic processes in the obese placenta.