Associations between preconception macronutrient intake and birth weight across strata of maternal BMI

Nastaran Salavati*, Marian K Bakker, Fraser Lewis, Petra C Vinke, Farya Mubarik, JanJaap H M Erwich, Eline M van der Beek

*Corresponding author for this work

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Introduction Maternal nutrition during pregnancy is linked with birth outcomes including fetal growth, birth weight, congenital anomalies and long-term health through intra-uterine programming. However, a woman's nutritional status before pregnancy is a strong determinant in early embryo-placental development, and subsequently outcomes for both mother and child. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the association between dietary macronutrient intake in the preconception period with birth weight.

Methods We studied a group of 1698 women from the Dutch Perined-Lifelines linked birth cohort with reliable detailed information on preconception dietary macronutrient intake (using a semi quantitative food frequency questionnaire) and data available on birth weight of the offspring. Birth weight was converted into gestational age adjusted z-scores, and macronutrient intake was adjusted for total energy intake using the nutrient residual method. Preconception BMI was converted into cohort-based quintiles. Multivariable linear regression was performed, adjusted for other macronutrients and covariates.

Results Mean maternal age was 29.5 years (SD 3.9), preconception BMI: 24.7 kg/m(2) (SD 4.2) and median daily energy intake was 1812 kcal (IQR 1544-2140). Mean birth weight was 3578 grams (SD 472). When adjusted for covariates, a significant association (adjusted z score [95% CI], P) between polysaccharides and birth weight was shown (0.08 [0.01-0.15], 0.03). When linear regression analyses were performed within cohort-based quintiles of maternal BMI, positive significant associations between total protein, animal protein, fat, total carbohydrates, mono-disaccharides and polysaccharides with birth weight were shown in the lowest quintile of BMI independent of energy intake, intake of other macronutrients and covariates.

Conclusion Out of all macronutrients studied, polysaccharides showed the strongest association with birth weight, independent of energy intake and other covariates. Our study might suggest that specifically in women with low preconception BMI a larger amount of macronutrient intake was associated with increased birth weight. We recommend that any dietary assessment and advise during preconception should be customized to preconception weight status of the women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0243200
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2-Dec-2020


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