2022 journal article

Maternal Mediterranean Diet Adherence and Its Associations with Maternal Prenatal Stressors and Child Growth


By: S. Gonzalez-Nahm*, J. Marchesoni, A. Maity, R. Maguire, J. House, R. Tucker n, T. Atkinson, S. Murphy*, C. Hoyo

author keywords: Mediterranean diet; stressors; child weight; birth outcomes; maternal diet
Source: Web Of Science
Added: February 20, 2023

Psychosocial and physiologic stressors, such as depression and obesity, during pregnancy can have negative consequences, such as increased systemic inflammation, contributing to chronic disease for both mothers and their unborn children. These conditions disproportionately affect racial/ethnic minorities. The effects of recommended dietary patterns in mitigating the effects of these stressors remain understudied.We aimed to evaluate the relations between maternal Mediterranean diet adherence (MDA) and maternal and offspring outcomes during the first decade of life in African Americans, Hispanics, and Whites.This study included 929 mother-child dyads from the NEST (Newborn Epigenetics STudy), a prospective cohort study. FFQs were used to estimate MDA in pregnant women. Weight and height were measured in children between birth and age 8 y. Multivariable linear regression models were used to examine associations between maternal MDA, inflammatory cytokines, and pregnancy and postnatal outcomes.More than 55% of White women reported high MDA during the periconceptional period compared with 22% of Hispanic and 18% of African American women (P < 0.05). Higher MDA was associated with lower likelihood of depressive mood (β = -0.45; 95% CI: -0.90, -0.18; P = 0.02) and prepregnancy obesity (β = -0.29; 95% CI: -0.57, -0.0002; P = 0.05). Higher MDA was also associated with lower body size at birth, which was maintained to ages 3-5 and 6-8 y-this association was most apparent in White children (3-5 y: β = -2.9, P = 0.02; 6-8 y: β = -3.99, P = 0.01).If replicated in larger studies, our data suggest that MDA provides a potent avenue by which effects of prenatal stressors on maternal and fetal outcomes can be mitigated to reduce ethnic disparities in childhood obesity.