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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Mar;186(3):480-6.

What are pregnant women eating? Nutrient and food group differences by race.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, and the Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina. Chapel Hill 27516-3997, USA.



The purpose of this study was to identify foods that contributed most to nutrient and fiber intake in a sample of pregnant women in North Carolina.


This was a prospective study of women in the Pregnancy, Infection, and Nutrition Study (n = 2247 women). Dietary information during the second trimester was collected with the use of a food frequency questionnaire. The contribution of each food item to the population's intake was calculated.


Overall, low nutrient-dense foods were major contributors to energy, fat, and carbohydrates, whereas fortified foods were important sources of iron, folate, and vitamin C. The median energy intake for this population was 2478 kcal. The median dietary intakes of iron were below the recommended levels. Although black women consumed more calories on average, white women, after energy adjustment, consumed greater amounts of protein, iron, folate, and fiber.


These data emphasize the importance of evaluating both the nutrient density in the diet and the frequency of consumption in the assessment of the diets of pregnant women.

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