A Priori and a Posteriori Dietary Patterns during Pregnancy and Gestational Weight Gain: The Generation R study


Abnormal gestational weight gain (GWG) is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. We examined whether dietary patterns are associated with GWG. Participants included 3374 pregnant women from a population-based cohort in the Netherlands. Dietary intake during pregnancy was assessed with food-frequency questionnaires. Three a posteriori-derived dietary patterns were identified using principal component analysis: a “Vegetable, oil and fish”, a “Nuts, high-fiber cereals and soy”, and a “Margarine, sugar and snacks” pattern. The a priori-defined dietary pattern was based on national dietary recommendations. Weight was repeatedly measured around 13, 20 and 30 weeks of pregnancy; pre-pregnancy and maximum weight were self-reported. Normal weight women with high adherence to the “Vegetable, oil and fish” pattern had higher early-pregnancy GWG than those with low adherence (43 g/week (95% CI 16; 69) for highest vs. lowest quartile (Q)). Adherence to the “Margarine, sugar and snacks” pattern was associated with a higher prevalence of excessive GWG (OR 1.45 (95% CI 1.06; 1.99) Q4 vs. Q1). Normal weight women with higher scores on the “Nuts, high-fiber cereals and soy” pattern had more moderate GWG than women with lower scores (−0.01 (95% CI −0.02; −0.00) per SD). The a priori-defined pattern was not associated with GWG. To conclude, specific dietary patterns may play a role in early pregnancy but are not consistently associated with GWG.

Nutrients, 2015, 7 (11), 9383 – 9399