Dietary Intake of Micronutrients and Essential Fatty Acids among Overweight or Obese Pregnant Women during Early Pregnancy

Author(s): Mei-Wei Chang*, PhD, Jonathan Schaffir, MD, Alai Tan, PhD, Duane T. Wegener, PhD, Katherine Strafford, MD, Brett Worly, MD, Cassandra Sampsell, MS, Maggie Rosen, MD, Loriana Soma, MD

Background: Dietary intake of micronutrients and essential fatty acids in overweight or obese pregnant women during early pregnancy is unknown. We investigated the proportion of pregnant women meeting recommendations for dietary intake of micronutrients and essential fatty acids and compared stress and depressive symptoms between those meeting and below recommendations.

Methods: Participants (N=70) were overweight or obese pregnant women ≤16 weeks gestation. They completed two 24-hour dietary recalls and online surveys measuring stress and depressive symptoms. Micronutrients of interest included B vitamins, choline, and trace minerals (calcium, magnesium, selenium, and zinc). Essential fatty acids were docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

Results: Low proportions of participants met recommendations for choline (21.4%) and folate (24.3%). Yet, the proportion of women meeting recommendations for other B vitamins and trace minerals were much better. Less than 9.0% of participants met recommendations for essential fatty acids. Compared with those below recommendations for B3 and selenium, participants meeting recommendations had significantly fewer depressive symptoms.

Conclusions: Low proportions of overweight or obese pregnant participants met dietary intake recommendations for micronutrients and essential fatty acids.

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