Associations of Maternal Dietary Patterns during Pregnancy with Offspring Adiposity from Birth Until 54 Months of Age

Nutrients. 2016 Dec 22;9(1):2. doi: 10.3390/nu9010002.


Most studies linking maternal diet with offspring adiposity have focused on single nutrients or foods, but a dietary pattern approach is more representative of the overall diet. We thus aimed to investigate the relations between maternal dietary patterns and offspring adiposity in a multi-ethnic Asian mother-offspring cohort in Singapore. We derived maternal dietary patterns using maternal dietary intake information at 26-28 weeks of gestation, of which associations with offspring body mass index (BMI), abdominal circumference (AC), subscapular skinfold (SS), and triceps skinfold (TS) were assessed using longitudinal data analysis (linear mixed effects (LME)) and multiple linear regression at ages 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24, 36, 48, and 54 months. Three dietary patterns were derived: (1) vegetables-fruit-and-white rice (VFR); (2) seafood-and-noodles (SfN); and (3) pasta-cheese-and-bread (PCB). In the LME model adjusting for potential confounders, each standard deviation (SD) increase in maternal VFR pattern score was associated with 0.09 mm lower offspring TS. Individual time-point analysis additionally revealed that higher VFR score was generally associated with lower postnatal offspring BMI z-score, TS, SS, and sum of skinfolds (SS + TS) at ages 18 months and older. Maternal adherence to a dietary pattern characterized by higher intakes of fruit and vegetables and lower intakes of fast food was associated with lower offspring adiposity.

Keywords: BMI; adiposity; children; developmental origins of health and diseases; dietary patterns; fruit; pregnancy; subscapular skinfold; triceps skinfold; vegetables.

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet*
  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / blood
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Pregnancy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Singapore
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Vitamin D
  • Folic Acid