Maternal dietary patterns during pregnancy and body composition of the child at age 6 y: the Generation R Study

M van den Broek, Lisan Leermakers, Vincent Jaddoe, Eric Steegers, Fernando Rivadeneira, Hein Raat, Bert Hofman, OH Franco Duran, Jessica Jong

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Maternal diet during pregnancy may affect body composition of the offspring later in life, but evidence is still scarce. Objective: We aimed to examine whether maternal dietary patterns during pregnancy are associated with body composition of the child at age 6 y. Methods: This study was performed among 2695 Dutch mother-child pairs from a population-based prospective cohort study from fetal life onward. Maternal diet was assessed in early pregnancy by a 293-item semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire. Vegetable, fish, and oil; nuts, soy, and high-fiber cereals; and margarine, snacks, and sugar dietary patterns were derived from principal component analysis. We measured weight and height of the child at age 6 y at the research center. Total body fat and regional fat mass percentages of the child were assessed with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Results: In the crude models, statistically significant associations were found for higher adherence to the vegetable, fish, and oil dietary pattern and the nuts, soy, and high-fiber cereals dietary pattern with lower body mass index, lower fat mass index, and lower risk of being overweight, but none of these associations remained significant after adjustment for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors. We found no associations between the margarine, snacks, and sugar dietary pattern and any of the outcomes. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the associations between maternal dietary patterns during pregnancy and body composition of the child at age 6 y are to a large extent explained by sociodemographic and lifestyle factors of mother and child.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)873-880
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Research programs

  • EMC MGC-02-52-01-A
  • EMC MM-01-39-09-A
  • EMC MM-04-54-08-A
  • EMC NIHES-01-64-02
  • EMC NIHES-02-65-02

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