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N Z Med J. 1993 Jul 14;106(959):273-6.

Nutrient intake of Dunedin women during pregnancy.

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Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin.



To assess the adequacy of dietary intake of women during the three trimesters of pregnancy.


Dietary intakes of 63 primiparous and 32 multiparous healthy pregnant Dunedin women were obtained by 3 day weighed records at about 12 weeks, 24 weeks, and 36 weeks of gestation. Energy and nutrient intakes were derived using the University of Otago food composition database.


Mean energy and nutrient intakes differed remarkably little between primiparous and multiparous women; data were combined for analysis. Energy intakes at first and second trimesters were similar to that for non pregnant women in the National Heart Foundation 1977 survey but greater than in the LINZ 1989 survey. Energy and carbohydrate intakes had increased at third trimester; across the trimesters carbohydrate accounted for 44-46% energy intake, fat for 39% and protein for 15%. Protein intakes at the 10th centile were almost the same as the recommended low risk intake of 51 g/d set by WHO/FAO: No vitamin or mineral showed a trend in intake through the trimesters. Vitamin and mineral intakes were in general greater for the pregnant women than for nonpregnant women in both 1977 and 1989 studies. By comparison with recommended intakes for NZ, Australia, USA and UK, intakes for folate, vitamin B-6, iron and possibly zinc and thiamin were potentially inadequate. Over 10% were heavy smokers and 20% were light smokers; nutrient intakes were less for the smokers than for the nonsmokers, as were birth weights; energy intakes for smokers had not increased at the third trimester.


An improvement in quality of diet is needed during pregnancy and in prenatal period; smoking should continue to be strongly discouraged.

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