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Public Health Nutr. 2012 Feb;15(2):341-51. doi: 10.1017/S136898001100108X. Epub 2011 Jun 23.

Nutrient and food intakes differ among Latina subgroups during pregnancy.

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  • 1Office of Community Health, Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, 135 College Street, Suite 200, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.



To document nutrient and food group serving intakes from food sources among Latina subgroups living in the same geographical area.


A cross-sectional study. Nutrient and food group serving intakes were assessed by means of a 24 h recall administered immediately after a prenatal survey.


Hartford, CT, USA.


A total of 233 low-income pregnant Latinas. For analyses, Latinas were classified into two groups on the basis of self-reported ethnic identity: Puerto Ricans and non-Puerto Rican Latinas.


Puerto Rican Latinas were more likely than non-Puerto Rican Latinas to be more acculturated and to consume foods (i.e. processed meat, cheese, soft drinks) and higher levels of nutrients (i.e. fat, SFA, MUFA, trans fatty acids) that have been implicated in the development of chronic diseases. By contrast, non-Puerto Rican Latinas were more likely to consume foods (i.e. fruits, dark green/yellow vegetables, tomatoes, non-starchy vegetables) and higher levels of nutrients (i.e. fibre, vegetable protein, folate, β-carotene) that promote health when compared with Puerto Rican Latinas.


Findings suggest that acculturation may play a role in dietary intake. Clinicians and dietitians need to be aware of these differences to encourage healthy eating patterns among more acculturated pregnant Latina clients.

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