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J Am Diet Assoc. 1992 Dec;92(12):1479-82.

Cravings and aversions of pregnant adolescents.

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Nutrition Department, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37996-1900.


Adolescents from 31 eastern Tennessee counties were interviewed during the third trimester of pregnancy (n = 97) and at 1-year postpartum (n = 64) to assess cravings and aversions, beliefs about dietary cravings, and how these factors influence dietary intake. Characteristics of cravings and aversions were assessed using a semistructured interview. Beliefs about cravings during pregnancy were measured with a 13-item Likert-type scale (alpha = 0.79). Two 24-hour recalls and 2 days' food records provided dietary data. Most adolescents (86%) reported cravings during pregnancy. They most frequently reported cravings for sweets, especially chocolate; fruits and fruit juices; fast foods; pickles; ice cream; and pizza. Many participants (66%) experienced aversions during pregnancy toward previously liked foods. The most common aversions were to meats, eggs, and pizza. Fewer cravings and aversions were noted during the first year postpartum. No significant relationship existed between craving and aversions and belief scores. Adolescents craving sweets during pregnancy consumed more sugar and energy than those who did not crave sweets. Cravings generally resulted in increased intake, and aversions led to decreased food consumption. On the basis of these results, we suggest that nutritional assessment of pregnant adolescents include questions about cravings and aversions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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