Introduction Maternal diet may be an important determinant of maternal and infant health outcomes. However, the nutritional status of pregnant women in the Spanish Mediterranean region has been scarcely studied.
Methods We studied 822 women from the INMA-Valencia cohort. Intakes from food and supplements in early pregnancy as well as adequacy to dietary recommendations were assessed according to maternal characteristics. Adequate intakes for food groups were estimated based on Spanish dietary guidelines. Intake inadequacy for nutrients was assessed using the Dietary Reference Intakes of the Institute of Medicine. Descriptive statistics of dietary intakes were reported. We contrasted the distribution and the adequacy of intake according to maternal characteristics by means of ANOVA, post-hoc tests and logistic regression.
Results Overall, more than 50% of the population studied had deficient intakes of cereals and legumes, carbohydrates, n-3 and n-6 fatty acids, and exceeded the recommendations for total fat intake. Prevalence of inadequacy for folate, iron and vitamin E from foods ranged from 99% to 70%.Younger and less educated women had lower intakes of vegetables, proteins and n-3 fatty acids and higher intakes of trans-fatty acids along with a greater prevalence of inadequacy for micronutrients. Spanish women showed lower intakes of fruits and carbohydrates and higher intakes of proteins, total fat, saturated fatty acids, MUFA and n-3 fatty acids compared to their foreign counterparts.
Conclusion Women in the studied area have inadequate intakes of several nutrients relevant during pregnancy. Besides age and education, origin is an important determinant of dietary intake and adequacy.
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