Eating Habits During Pregnancy of Women Giving Birth Very Prematurely: An Exploratory Analysis


  • Beatriz Teixeira Faculdade de Ciências da Nutrição e Alimentação. Universidade do Porto. Porto; EPIUnit - Instituto de Saúde Pública. Universidade do Porto. Porto; Laboratório para a Investigação Integrativa e Translacional em Saúde Populacional (ITR). Porto.
  • Manuela Cardoso Nutrition Unit. Maternidade Dr. Alfredo da Costa. Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Lisboa Central. Lisbon.
  • Claúdia Camila Dias Knowledge Management Unit and Department of Community Medicine, Information and Health Decision Sciences (MEDCIDS). Porto; CINTESIS @RISE - Health Research Network. Faculdade de Medicina. Universidade do Porto. Porto.
  • Luís Pereira-da-Silva Medicine of Woman, Childhood and Adolescence. NOVA Medical School | Faculdade de Ciências Médicas. Lisbon; Nutrition Group. CHRC - Comprehensive Health Research Centre. NOVA Medical School | Faculdade de Ciências Médicas. Lisbon; Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Hospital Dona Estefânia. Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Lisboa Central. Lisbon.
  • Diana e Silva Faculdade de Ciências da Nutrição e Alimentação. Universidade do Porto. Porto; Pediatric Nutrition Unit. Centro Materno Infantil. Centro Hospitalar Universitário São João. Porto; Center for Health Technology and Services Research – CINTESIS. Porto.



Feeding Behavior, Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced, Pregnant Women, Premature Birth


Introduction: Preterm birth is increasing worldwide, representing a major cause of death and long-term loss of human potential among survivors. Some morbidities during pregnancy are well-known risk factors for preterm labor, but it is not yet known whether deviations from adequate dietary patterns are associated with preterm delivery. Diet may be an important modulator of chronic inflammation, and pro-inflammatory diets during pregnancy were reported to be associated with preterm birth. The aim of this study was to assess the food consumption during pregnancy of Portuguese women giving birth
very prematurely and the association between the food consumption and the major maternal morbidities during pregnancy related with preterm delivery.
Material and Methods: A single-center cross-sectional observational study including consecutive Portuguese women giving birth before 33 weeks of gestation was conducted. Recall of eating habits during pregnancy was obtained within the first week after delivery, using a semi quantitative food frequency questionnaire validated for Portuguese pregnant women.
Results: Sixty women with a median age of 36.0 years were included. Of these, 35% were obese or overweight at the beginning of pregnancy, 41.7% and 25.0% gained excessive or insufficient weight during pregnancy, respectively. Pregnancy-induced hypertension was present in 21.7% of cases, gestational diabetes in 18.3%, chronic hypertension in 6.7%, and type 2 diabetes mellitus in 5.0%. Pregnancy-induced hypertension was significantly associated with increased daily consumption of pastry products (31.2 vs 10.0 g, p = 0.022), fast food (39.6 vs 29.7 g, p = 0.028), bread (90.0 vs 50.0 g, p = 0.005), pasta, rice and potatoes (225.7 vs 154.3 g, p = 0.012). In a multivariate analysis, only bread consumption maintained a significant, albeit weak,
association (OR = 1.021; 1.003 – 1.038, p = 0.022).
Conclusion: Pregnancy-induced hypertension was associated with increased consumption of pastry products, fast food, bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes, although only bread consumption had a weak but statistically significant association with pregnancy-induced hypertension in a multivariate analysis.


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How to Cite

Teixeira B, Cardoso M, Dias CC, Pereira-da-Silva L, e Silva D. Eating Habits During Pregnancy of Women Giving Birth Very Prematurely: An Exploratory Analysis. Acta Med Port [Internet]. 2023 Mar. 6 [cited 2024 Jul. 25];36(6):401-7. Available from: