HealthDay News — Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant may not be meeting dietary guidelines and/or nutritional recommendations, according to a review published Dec. 2 in Maternal & Child Nutrition.
Cherie Caut, from Endeavour College of Natural Health in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify observational studies assessing the primary outcome of adherence to dietary guidelines and/or nutritional recommendations and/or the secondary outcome of factors associated with adherence among adult men or women who identified as trying/intending to conceive or who were pregnant.
The researchers identified 18 studies of fair (44%) to good (56%) quality. Most studies showed that preconceptual and pregnant women did not meet recommendations for vegetable, cereal grain, or folate intake. Additionally, pregnant women did not meet iron (91%) or calcium intake (55%) requirements. Consumption exceeded fat intake recommendations in just over half of the included studies. Improved guideline adherence was associated with higher-level education in pregnant women. Older age and nonsmoking status were associated with greater guideline adherence in both preconceptual and pregnant women.
“Promoting links between diet and healthy pregnancy and birth, and increasing support for health professionals, may help better inform women and their partners about the importance of dietary choices on pregnancy success,” Caut said in a statement.