Effect of pregnancy on food consumption and consciousness factors associated with food satisfaction

Appetite. Mar-May 2008;50(2-3):519-28. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2007.10.010. Epub 2007 Nov 9.


To examine the effect of pregnancy on food consumption, we surveyed the recall of past experience of two groups of women, those who had been pregnant (PY, n=188) and those who never had (PN, n=111), regarding their food consumption and related dietary behaviors. The questionnaire, answered with regard to potato chips, contained 135 objective components expressing sensorial stimuli and 103 subjective consciousness components, including knowledge, education, faith, memory, experience, lifestyle, family values, imagination, and mental state. In the PY group, 86% of the women change in food consumption and preference during pregnancy, and 60% experienced decreased food consumption during emesis gravidarum (EG). The change in food consumption during and after periods of EG was influenced by the number of previous births for the women in the PY group; in women pregnant for a second or third time, the change in food intake was less than during the previous pregnancy. The difference in food satisfaction with regard to potato chips between the PY and PN groups showed that overall food satisfaction could not be explained by a combination of objective sensorial components; the only objective components that were directly related to overall satisfaction were taste and texture. Multidimensional analysis with strength of sensorial stimulus, preference, and overall satisfaction revealed differences in patterns between the PN and PY groups. The effect of the consciousness components on food preference and satisfaction was comparable to that of the sensorial components.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Choice Behavior
  • Diet / psychology*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Food Preferences / psychology*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Maternal Behavior*
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vomiting / psychology*