Eating at fast-food restaurants and dietary quality in low-income pregnant women

West J Nurs Res. 2011 Aug;33(5):630-51. doi: 10.1177/0193945910389083. Epub 2010 Dec 3.


Little is known about how fast-food consumption affects dietary quality in women during the first trimester of pregnancy, which may adversely affect pregnancy outcomes. An observational design compared high versus low frequency of fast-food consumption in low-income pregnant women (N = 50) during the first trimester. Although high-frequency fast-food consumers ate significantly more vegetables, they also consumed more gravies, less fruit, and more daily calories, with a higher percentage of total calories from fats. Those with high-frequency fast-food consumption were more likely to be obese, depressed, and stressed and they skipped more meals. In addition, the combination of depression, stress, and emotional eating depression and anxiety subscale scores explained 45% of the variance in dietary quality. High frequency of fast-food consumption contributed to poor dietary quality and excessive caloric intake, which may lead to excessive gestational weight gain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Poverty*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women*
  • Restaurants*
  • Texas
  • Young Adult