Dietary patterns and significance of nutrition for women with low-risk pregnancy

<div><p>ABSTRACT Objective: To evaluate dietary patterns and significance of diet for pregnant women. Methods: Cross-sectional study carried out in eight health units in Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil, with 201 pregnant women. The following instruments were used: a socio-economic and health questionnaire, the Free-Word Association Test, and a Food Frequency Questionnaire. Dietary patterns were identified using principal components and factor analysis. Poisson regression with 5% significance level was used. Results: Three dietary patterns were identified: current Brazilian pattern (beans, rice, processed meats, fats, refined grains, pasta and pastries, soft drink, sugar and sweets, cookies and crackers); healthy pattern (fruits and fruit juices, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, dairy products); and energy-rich pattern (salty deep-fried snacks, popcorn, packaged snacks, instant noodles, tubers, and chicken). Women who did not receive nutrition guidance during prenatal care showed less chance of adherence to the current Brazilian dietary pattern (PR=0.87), and therefore their level of consumption of foods commonly present in Brazilian diets was low. For most women, the significance of diet was reported as important and healthy, but it was not associated with any of the diet patterns identified. However, the women who did not consider that during pregnancy diet should be healthy showed greater chance of adherence to the energy-rich pattern (PR=1.18). This finding deserves special attention since excessive weight gain can have a negative effect on pregnancy. Conclusion: Nutrition guidance during prenatal care and the way pregnant women perceive their eating habits can influence their food choices during pregnancy.</p></div>