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Objectives: Maternal nutrition during pregnancy plays an important role in predisposing offspring to the development of chronic disease in adulthood, including osteoporosis. Our aim was to investigate maternal dietary intakes during pregnancy, with a focus on nutrients important for skeletal development in the offspring. Methods In this case–control study, cases were pregnant women recruited for the Vitamin D in Pregnancy Study (n = 350, age 20–40 years) and controls were non-pregnant peers participating in the Geelong Osteoporosis Study (n = 305, age 20–40 years). Dietary intakes of nutrients were quantified using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Results Compared to controls, cases consumed more energy [median (interquartile range): 7831 (6506–9461) vs. 7136 (6112–8785) kJ/day]; median intakes for cases were greater for carbohydrates [206.2 (172.5–249.9) vs. 188.2 (147.7–217.5) g/day], fat [77.9 (60.3–96.6) vs. 72.1 (53.3–87.4) g/day], potassium [2860 (2363–3442) vs. 2606 (2166–3442) mg/day] and calcium [1022 (819–1264) vs. 918 (782–1264) mg/day] (all p ≤ 0.05). However, pregnant women were not consuming greater amounts of those nutrients which had an increased demand (protein, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc). Similarly, this translated to the likelihood of achieving national recommendations for corresponding nutrients. Conclusions for Practice Compared to their non-pregnant peers, pregnant women were more likely to meet dietary recommendations for calcium and potassium; however, this was not the pattern observed for protein, magnesium and zinc. Future public health messages should perhaps focus on increasing awareness of the importance of all these nutrients during pregnancy.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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