A maternal "mixed, high sugar" dietary pattern is associated with fetal growth.
Journal: 2019/November - Maternal and Child Nutrition
ISSN: 1740-8709
This study examined associations between a maternal "mixed, high sugar" dietary pattern during pregnancy and ultrasound-determined fetal growth in 495 urban African women and explored whether these associations were independent of maternal baseline body mass index (BMI) and gestational weight gain (GWG). Linear mixed effects modelling (LMM) was used to test the associations between maternal mixed, high sugar dietary pattern score, baseline BMI (kg/m2 ), and GWG (kg/week) and the following fetal growth outcomes: (a) biparietal diameter (cm), (b) head circumference (cm), (c) abdominal circumference (cm), and (d) femur length (cm). In the pooled LMM, a +1 standard deviation (SD) increase in the mixed, high sugar dietary pattern score was associated with higher biparietal diameter (0.03 cm/+1 SD; p = .007), head circumference (0.07 cm/+1 SD; p = .026), abdominal circumference (0.08 cm/+1 SD; p = .038), and femur length (0.02 cm/+1 SD; p = .015). Although these associations were independent of maternal BMI and GWG, higher baseline BMI was independently and positively associated with abdominal circumference (0.03 cm/+1 kg/m2 ; p = .011) and femur length (0.01 cm/+1 kg/m2 ; p = .007) and 1 kg/week greater GWG was associated with a 0.82 cm increase in abdominal circumference (p = .007). In urban African settings, where preconception maternal obesity prevalence is high and processed, high sugar diets are common, improving maternal dietary intake and BMI prior to conception should be prioritised for optimising pregnancy and birth outcomes as well as longer-term offspring health. In addition, dietary management strategies during pregnancy may be beneficial in facilitating healthy fetal growth.
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