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Better Diet Quality during Pregnancy Lowers the Probability of an Infant Born Small for Gestational Age.

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eMediNexus    06 February 2018

A new study published in The Journal of Nutrition examined the relation between maternal diet quality during pregnancy and infant birth size.  This prospective birth cohort enrolled 862 women in the age range of 18-45 years with a singleton pregnancy, at 24-28 weeks of gestation, from prenatal clinics in New Hampshire. The findings revealed that lower diet quality was associated with lower maternal education, smoking, pre-pregnancy obesity status, and lack of exercise during pregnancy. Overall, 3.4% of infants were born with a low birth weight, 12.1% with macrosomia, 4.6% were small for gestational age (SGA), whereas 8.7% were large for gestational age (LGA). On the other hand, increased diet quality directly correlated to reduced likelihood of SGA, although each quartile comparison did not reach statistical significance. Specifically, ORs for SGA were 0.89, 0.73, and 0.35 for each increasing quartile of diet quality compared to the lowest quartile. Comparable trends for SGA were observed among non-smokers (n = 756; P-trend = 0.07). Furthermore, among non-smokers, increased diet quality was associated with lower infant birth weight (P-trend = 0.03) and a suggested reduction in macrosomia. From the findings, it was concluded that increased diet quality during pregnancy was related to a reduced risk of SGA in this cohort of pregnant women. It was further stated that additional studies are needed to elucidate the relation between maternal diet quality and macrosomia.

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