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BMJ Open. 2017 Nov 14;7(11):e017753. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017753.

Does the impact of a plant-based diet during pregnancy on birth weight differ by ethnicity? A dietary pattern analysis from a prospective Canadian birth cohort alliance.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
2
School of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.
3
Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
4
Population Health Research Institute, Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
5
Canadian Cardiovascular Research Network, Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
6
Six Nations Health Services, Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada.
7
Department of Paediatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
8
Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
9
Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
10
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
11
Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, BC Children's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Birth weight is an indicator of newborn health and a strong predictor of health outcomes in later life. Significant variation in diet during pregnancy between ethnic groups in high-income countries provides an ideal opportunity to investigate the influence of maternal diet on birth weight.

SETTING:

Four multiethnic birth cohorts based in Canada (the NutriGen Alliance).

PARTICIPANTS:

3997 full-term mother-infant pairs of diverse ethnic groups who had principal component analysis-derived diet pattern scores-plant-based, Western and health-conscious-and birth weight data.

RESULTS:

No associations were identified between the Western and health-conscious diet patterns and birth weight; however, the plant-based dietary pattern was inversely associated with birth weight (β=-67.6 g per 1-unit increase; P<0.001), and an interaction with non-white ethnicity and birth weight was observed. Ethnically stratified analyses demonstrated that among white Europeans, maternal consumption of a plant-based diet associated with lower birth weight (β=-65.9 g per 1-unit increase; P<0.001), increased risk of small-for-gestational age (SGA; OR=1.46; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.54;P=0.005) and reduced risk of large-for-gestational age (LGA; OR=0.71; 95% CI 0.53 to 0.95;P=0.02). Among South Asians, maternal consumption of a plant-based diet associated with a higher birth weight (β=+40.5 g per 1-unit increase; P=0.01), partially explained by cooked vegetable consumption.

CONCLUSIONS:

Maternal consumption of a plant-based diet during pregnancy is associated with birth weight. Among white Europeans, a plant-based diet is associated with lower birth weight, reduced odds of an infant born LGA and increased odds of SGA, whereas among South Asians living in Canada, a plant-based diet is associated with increased birth weight.

KEYWORDS:

PCA; birth weight; diet pattern; nutrition

PMID:
29138203
PMCID:
PMC5695448
DOI:
10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017753
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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