Matern Child Nutr. 2020 Jul;16(3):e12972. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12972. Epub 2020 Feb 9.
Although the isolated effects of several specific nutrients have been examined, little is known about the relationship between overall maternal diet during pregnancy and fetal development and growth. This study evaluates the association between maternal diet and low birthweight (LBW) in 660 pregnant women from the Pregnancy Research on Inflammation, Nutrition,& City Environment: Systematic Analyses (PRINCESA) cohort in Mexico City. Using prior day dietary intake reported at multiple prenatal visits, diet was assessed prospectively using a priori (Maternal Diet Quality Score [MDQS]) and a posteriori (dietary patterns extracted by factor analysis) approaches. The association between maternal diet and LBW was investigated by logistic regression, controlling for confounders. Adherence to recommended guidelines (higher MDQS) was associated with a reduced risk of LBW (OR, 0.22; 95% confidence interval [0.06, 0.75], P < .05, N = 49) compared with the lowest adherence category (reference group), controlling for maternal age, education, height, marital status, pre-pregnancy body mass index, parity, energy intake, gestational weight gain, and preterm versus term birth; a posteriori dietary patterns were not associated with LBW risk. Higher adherence to MDQS was associated with a lower risk of having an LBW baby in this sample. Our results support the role of advocating a healthy overall diet, versus individual foods or nutrients, in preventing LBW.