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J Am Coll Nutr. 2008 Feb;27(1):137-45.

Maternal nutrition and birth size among urban affluent and rural women in India.

Author information

1
Biometry & Nutrition Unit, Agharkar Research Institute, Pune, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Varying results of worldwide intervention programs to pregnant mothers necessitate the need to understand the relationship between maternal nutrition and birth size among well nourished and undernourished mothers.

OBJECTIVE:

To examine this relationship among urban affluent mothers and to compare the findings with those on rural Indian mothers.

SUBJECTS:

Data collected on urban affluent mothers (n = 236) was compared with rural mothers (n = 633).

DESIGN:

Mothers were contacted at 18 +/- 2 and 28 +/- 2 wk of gestation for anthropometry, dietary intakes [24-hr recall, Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ)] and after delivery for neonatal anthropometry.

RESULTS:

Despite large differences in nutritional status of urban and rural mothers ( pre-pregnant weight 55.9 +/- 9.2 Vs 41.5 +/- 5.2 kg, respectively) maternal fat intakes at 18 wk were associated with birth weight (p < 0.05), length (p < 0.01) and triceps skin fold thickness (p < 0.05) of the newborn in urban and rural mothers. Consumption of fruits was associated with birth length (p < 0.05) in urban (18wk) and with birth weight (p < 0.01) and length (p < 0.01) in rural (28wk) mothers, when their energy intakes were low. Maternal consumption of milk too, was associated with newborn's triceps (p < 0.01) in urban (28wk) while with birth weight (p < 0.05) and length (p < 0.05) in rural (18wk) mothers. The findings mainly underscore the importance of consumption of micronutrient rich foods, when energy intakes are limiting during pregnancy, for improving birth size.

CONCLUSIONS:

Creating nutritional awareness and motivating rural mothers for consuming micronutrient rich foods like green leafy vegetables and seasonal fruits that are easily available in rural areas, will be a much affordable solution for combating the problem of low birth weight rather than waiting for improvement in the existing nationwide programs for pregnant women.

PMID:
18460492
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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