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J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Mar;114(3):450-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.07.042. Epub 2013 Oct 23.

Comparison of the dietary intakes of new parents, second-time parents, and nonparents: a longitudinal cohort study.


The objective of this study was to examine the dietary intake profiles of first-time parents, second-time parents, and couples without children; once during pregnancy, then at 6- and 12-months postpartum. This was an observational, longitudinal, cohort study. Participants were a community-based sample of 153 couples aged 25 to 40 years. Data were collected between 2007 and 2011. Dietary intake was recorded using 3-day dietary recall. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to compare the dietary intakes of groups (ie, parent, sex, and couple days) over time. Percentage of participants per group meeting recommended daily dietary guidelines was also analyzed, as were variables that influenced meeting overall recommended guidelines using a multivariate analysis of variance. First-time mothers had higher overall energy, fat, sugar, fruit, and milk intake compared with women without children, and longitudinally first-time mothers decreased their fruit intake. Second-time mothers had higher overall energy, fat, sugar, and fruit intake compared with nonparent women, and longitudinally second-time mothers increased their meat intake. First-time fathers had overall higher bread intake compared with second-time fathers and men without children, and first-time fathers consumed less sugar than second-time fathers. Longitudinally, first-time fathers increased their fiber intake. At any stage of data collection, from pregnancy to 12-months postpartum, only 2% to 16% of all mothers met recommended overall daily dietary guidelines. The only variable investigated that influenced meeting overall daily dietary guidelines at baseline was parent status.


Dietary intake; Dietary recall; Meeting recommended dietary guidelines; Postpartum; Pregnancy

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