Dietary patterns in pregnancy and birth weight

<div><p>OBJECTIVE To analyze if dietary patterns during the third gestational trimester are associated with birth weight.METHODS Longitudinal study conducted in the cities of Petropolis and Queimados, Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Southeastern Brazil, between 2007 and 2008. We analyzed data from the first and second follow-up wave of a prospective cohort. Food consumption of 1,298 pregnant women was assessed using a semi-quantitative questionnaire about food frequency. Dietary patterns were obtained by exploratory factor analysis, using the Varimax rotation method. We also applied the multivariate linear regression model to estimate the association between food consumption patterns and birth weight.RESULTS Four patterns of consumption – which explain 36.4% of the variability – were identified and divided as follows: (1) prudent pattern (milk, yogurt, cheese, fruit and fresh-fruit juice, cracker, and chicken/beef/fish/liver), which explained 14.9% of the consumption; (2) traditional pattern, consisting of beans, rice, vegetables, breads, butter/margarine and sugar, which explained 8.8% of the variation in consumption; (3) Western pattern (potato/cassava/yams, macaroni, flour/farofa/grits, pizza/hamburger/deep fried pastries, soft drinks/cool drinks and pork/sausages/egg), which accounts for 6.9% of the variance; and (4) snack pattern (sandwich cookie, salty snacks, chocolate, and chocolate drink mix), which explains 5.7% of the consumption variability. The snack dietary pattern was positively associated with birth weight (β = 56.64; p = 0.04) in pregnant adolescents.CONCLUSIONS For pregnant adolescents, the greater the adherence to snack pattern during pregnancy, the greater the baby’s birth weight.</p></div>