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Rev Saude Publica. 2019 Jul 1;53:52. doi: 10.11606/S1518-8787.2019053000909.

Dietary patterns of pregnant women, maternal excessive body weight and gestational diabetes.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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Universidade de São Paulo. Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto. Programa de Pós-Graduação em Saúde Pública. Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brasil.
Universidade de São Paulo. Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto. Departamento de Medicina Social. Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brasil.



To investigate the relationship between the dietary patterns of pregnant women with maternal excessive body weight and gestational diabetes mellitus.


A cross-sectional study conducted with a convenience sample of 785 adult pregnant women attended by the Unified Health System of Ribeirão Preto, state of São Paulo, between 2011 and 2012. Two 24-hour dietary recalls, corrected by the multiple source method, were employed . For the classification of the body mass index and the diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus, the criteria by Atalah and the World Health Organization were used, respectively. Dietary patterns were obtained by principal component analysis using the Varimax rotation method. The relationship between adherence to patterns, overweight and obesity was analyzed by multinomial logistic regression models and the relationship with gestational diabetes mellitus by adjusted unconditional logistic regression models.


We identified four dietary patterns: "traditional Brazilian"; "snacks"; "coffee" and "healthy". Women with a higher adherence to the "Healthy" (OR = 0.52; 95%CI 0.33-0.83) and "Brazilian Traditional" patterns (OR = 0.61; 95%CI 0.38-0.96) presented a lower chance of obesity, when compared to women with lower adherence, regardless of confounding factors. After adjustment for maternal excessive body weight, there was no association between dietary patterns and gestational diabetes mellitus.


Among the pregnant women, greater adherence to "traditional Brazilian" and "healthy" patterns was inversely associated with obesity, but no relationship was identified with gestational diabetes mellitus after adjusting for excessive body weight. Prospective studies are recommended to investigate the relationship between dietary patterns, overweight and gestational diabetes mellitus, reducing the chance of reverse causality.

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