Objective: To describe dietary intakes and nutrient adequacy during pregnancy in a sample of Peruvian women.
Design: Descriptive, observational prospective study, nested within a double-masked, controlled, zinc-supplementation trial during pregnancy.
Setting: Hospital Materno-Infantil 'Cesar Lopez Silva', in Villa El Salvador, an impoverished shantytown in Lima, Peru.
Subjects: A subsample of women enrolled in the larger trial. These women all had low-risk singleton pregnancies and were receiving prenatal care at the study hospital. A total of 168 24-h dietary recalls were collected at 10-24 weeks gestation and 120 recalls were collected at 28-30 weeks gestation.
Results: Median intakes of protein, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C and phosphorus met the current US RDA for pregnancy, whereas intakes of thiamin, folate, vitamin A, calcium, iron and zinc were well below the recommendations at both time periods. Dietary intake of energy (mostly from carbohydrates) showed a significant increase from 10-24 to 28-30 weeks gestation, as did intakes of folate and vitamin A. The nutrients with the highest estimated prevalences of inadequacy at both points in pregnancy were iron (93%), zinc (88-80%), folate (87-74%) and calcium (86-82%).
Conclusion: Usual dietary intakes were found to be relatively adequate in terms of their energy and protein contents. However, high prevalences of inadequate intakes were estimated, particularly for iron, zinc and calcium.