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Nutr Rev. 2012 Jun;70(6):322-36. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2012.00481.x.

Systematic review and meta-analysis of energy and macronutrient intakes during pregnancy in developed countries.

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Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Australia.


Research reporting diet during pregnancy in nationally representative samples is limited. This review summarizes the dietary intakes of pregnant women in developed countries and compares them with national recommendations. A systematic search without date limits was conducted. All studies reporting the macronutrient intakes of pregnant women were considered, irrespective of design. Two authors independently identified the studies to be included and assessed the methodological quality. Nutritional adequacy was summarized, with confounding factors considered. Meta-analysis data are reported for developed countries collectively, by geographical region, and by dietary methodology. Energy and macronutrient intakes of pregnant women do not match national recommendations. Energy and fiber intakes were consistently below recommendations, while total fat and saturated fat intakes were generally above recommendations and carbohydrate and polyunsaturated fat intakes were below to borderline low compared with recommendations. A mismatch between dietary practices and macronutrient recommendations in pregnant women is widespread and not well quantified. The implications of these practices are unknown until further research compares maternal diet with short-term and long-term maternal and offspring health outcomes.

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