University of Oulu

Diet during pregnancy : dietary patterns and weight gain rate among Finnish pregnant women

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Author: Arkkola, Tuula1,2,3
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Department of Paediatrics
2National Institute for Health and Welfare
3University of Tampere, Tampere School of Public Health
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2009
Publish Date: 2009-12-29
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Oulu for public defence in Auditorium 12 of the Department of Paediatrics, on 8 January 2010, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Docent Harri Niinikoski
Docent Ursula Schwab


Proper nutrition and optimal weight status in pregnancy are important for both the mother and her child. The present study was aimed at assessment of maternal food and nutrient intake, dietary supplement use, dietary patterns, and weight during pregnancy. Additionally, associations between maternal weight, socio-demographic and perinatal factors and advanced beta cell autoimmunity in the offspring were examined.

The results from a one-year cohort of mothers entering the ongoing Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention (DIPP) study in 1998–99 (n =  797) suggested that healthy food choices were positively correlated with maternal age and education. Dietary supplements were used by 85% of the women. However, the intake of vitamin D did not meet the recommendation and folic acid intake was inadequate in 44% of the pregnant women when both food and supplementation intakes were taken into account.

Seven dietary patterns were identified in 3730 pregnant women who entered the DIPP study between 1997 and 2002. The ‘healthy’, the ‘low-fat foods’ and the ‘alcohol and butter’ dietary patterns were positively associated with maternal age and education. The ‘fast food’ dietary pattern was positively associated and the ‘alcohol and butter’ pattern was inversely associated with the rate of maternal weight gain during pregnancy.

Altogether, 4093 children and their mothers comprised the study population in which the relationships between maternal initial body mass index, weight gain rate, and the development of beta cell autoimmunity in the offspring were examined. Maternal weight status during pregnancy was not related to the risk of advanced beta cell autoimmunity. A higher level of maternal education was significantly associated with a decreased risk of advanced beta cell autoimmunity in children.

More attention should be paid to nutritional guidance among Finnish pregnant women, especially as regards young and less well educated women. Dietary patterns may be useful for risk group identification and they may offer a framework for further research concerning diet and health outcomes among mothers and their children.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. D, Medica
ISSN-E: 1796-2234
ISBN: 978-951-42-6066-7
ISBN Print: 978-951-42-6065-0
Issue: 1037
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2009. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.