Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Apr;69(4):697-704.

Longitudinal assessment of energy balance in well-nourished, pregnant women.

Author information

  • 1Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, USA.

Erratum in

  • Am J Clin Nutr 2000 Jan;71(1):157.



Clinicians often recommend an additional energy intake of 1250 kJ/d to their pregnant patients. Previous studies have shown considerable variation in the metabolic response to pregnancy and thus in the additional energy required to support a pregnancy.


The purpose of this study was to assess how well-nourished women meet the energy demands of pregnancy and to identify factors that predict an individual's metabolic response.


Resting metabolic rate (RMR), diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT), total energy expenditure (TEE), activity energy expenditure (AEE), energy intake (EI), and body fat mass (FM) were measured longitudinally in 10 women preconception; at 8-10, 24-26, and 34-36 wk of gestation; and 4-6 wk postpartum.


Compared with preconception values, individual RMRs increased from 456 to 3389 kJ/d by late pregnancy. DIT varied from -266 to 110 kJ/meal, TEE from -105 to 3421 kJ/d, AEE from -2301 to 2929 kJ/d, EI from -259 to 2176 kJ/d, and FM from a 0.6-kg loss to a 10.6-kg gain. The only prepregnant factor that predicted FM gain was RMR (r = 0.65, P < 0.05). Women with the largest cumulative increase in RMR deposited the least FM (r = -0.64, P < 0.05).


Well-nourished women use different strategies to meet the energy demands of pregnancy, including reductions in DIT or AEE, increases in EI, and deposition of less FM than anticipated. The combination of strategies used by individual women is not wholly predictable from prepregnant indexes. The use of a single recommendation for increased energy intake in all pregnant women is not justified.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center