Diet during pregnancy in relation to maternal weight gain and birth size

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 2.71). 02/2004; 58(2):231-7. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601771
Source: PubMed


Maternal weight gain has been consistently linked to birth weight but, beyond maternal energy intake, no macronutrient has been associated with either of them. We have examined whether maternal energy-adjusted intake of macronutrients is associated with either maternal weight gain or birth-size parameters.
Cohort study.
University hospital in Boston, USA.
A total of 224 pregnant women coming for their first routine prenatal visit. The women were followed through delivery.
None. Pregnant women's dietary intake during the second trimester was ascertained at the 27th week of pregnancy through a food frequency questionnaire.
Intake of neither energy nor any of the energy-generating nutrients was significantly associated with birth size. In contrast, maternal weight gain by the end of the second trimester of pregnancy was significantly associated with energy intake (+0.9 kg/s.d. of intake; P approximately 0.006) as well as energy-adjusted intake of protein (+3.1 kg/s.d. of intake; P<10(-4)), lipids of animal origin (+2.6 kg/s.d. of intake; P<10(-4)) and carbohydrates (-5.2 kg/s.d. of intake; P<10(-4)).
Although maternal weight gain is strongly associated with birth size, the indicated nutritional associations with weight gain are not reflected in similar associations with birth-size parameters. The pattern is reminiscent of the sequence linking diet to coronary heart disease (CHD) through cholesterol: diet has been conclusively linked to blood cholesterol levels and cholesterol levels are conclusively linked to this disease, even though the association of diet with CHD has been inconclusive and controversial.

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Available from: Rulla M Tamimi, Jun 11, 2014
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    • "Although condiments are known as rich in sodium (Lin et al. 2003) and commonly low in nutritional value, the role of sodium and other components in the food are not fully identified in human pregnancy. Furthermore, there are contradictory results concerning sodium intake during pregnancy in relation to birth weight (Doyle et al. 1989; Lagiou et al. 2004; van der Maten 1995). The contributing factors and underlying mechanisms for intake of condiments and birth size are therefore remained elucidated. "
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    ABSTRACT: Maternal nutrition is one of the dominant factors in determining fetal growth and subsequent developmental health for both mother and child. This study aimed to explore the association between maternal consumption of food groups and birth size among singleton, termed newborns. One hundred and eight healthy pregnant women in their third trimester, aged 19 to 40 years who visited the Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic of Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia completed an interviewed-administered, validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. The maternal socio-demographic, medical and obstetric histories and anthropometry measurements were recorded accordingly. The pregnancy outcomes, birth weight, birth length and head circumference were obtained from the medical records. The data were analyzed using multiple linear regression by controlling for possible confounders. Among all food groups, fruits intake was associated with higher birth weight (p=0.018). None of the food intake showed evident association with respect to birth length while only fruits intake was associated positively with head circumference (p=0.019). In contrast, confectioneries and condiments were associated with lower birth weight (p=0.013 and p=0.001, respectively). Also, condiments appeared to associate inversely with ponderal index (p=0.015). These findings suggest the potential beneficial effects of micronutrient rich food but detrimental effects of high sugar and sodium food on fetal growth. Such an effect may have long term health consequences to the lives of children.
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    • "maternal pre-pregnant BMI and gestational weight gain, which are both related to maternal dietary behavior and infant growth measures. Birthweight is highly correlated with gestational weight gain (30–32). A study from Iceland identified milk intake among predictors of optimal and also excessive weight gain during pregnancy, but since associations with birth outcome were only considered for weight gain and not milk intake per se, it was not included in the current systematic review (20). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study aims to analyse the association between selected dietary indicators during pregnancy and the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) births in a South European population. This is a case-control study. Cases were 555 women who delivered SGA babies at the Luigi Mangiagalli Clinic of Milan and the Obstetric and Gynecology Clinic of the University of Verona. The controls were women who gave birth at term (≥37 weeks of gestation) to healthy infants with normal weight in the same clinics. Dietary information was collected with a food frequency questionnaire. Women with SGA babies reported a more frequent consumption of meat and olive oil, and a less frequent consumption of fish and eggs. Women with high consumption of olive oil had an increased risk of delivering an SGA baby [odds ratio (OR) 1.6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.0-2.5]. The multivariate OR for high meat consumption was 1.4 (95% CI 1.1-1.9); for fish 0.8 (95% CI 0.6-1.0, χ² for trend 4.0, P = 0.045 ) and for egg 0.7 (95% CI 0.5-0.9). After allowing for factors generally known to be associated with SGA, we have shown that eating more fish and eggs, and less meat and possibly olive oil, are associated with a lower risk of delivering an SGA baby.
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