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J Nutr. 1997 Jun;127(6):1113-7.

Gestational age and infant size at birth are associated with dietary sugar intake among pregnant adolescents.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-SOM, Camden, USA.


The objective of this study was explore the relationship between pregnancy outcomes and dietary sugar intake by pregnant adolescents. From two urban, prenatal clinics in the City of Camden, NJ, a cohort of 594 nondiabetic, pregnant adolescents, aged 13-19 y, who delivered live, singleton newborns between 1985 and 1990, was recruited and followed through pregnancy. Registered dietitians collected up to three 24-h recalls during pregnancy. The adolescents were categorized according to total sugar in their diets, with those in the top 10th percentile defined as high sugar consumers (> or = 206 g, n = 60) and the remainder as reference consumers (< 206 g). Primary outcome measures were birth of small-for-gestational-age infants and gestational age. The cohort was 61% black, 30% Hispanic (Puerto Rican) and 9% white. The adjusted odds ratio was 2.01 (95% confidence interval 1.05-7.53) for the delivery of a small-for-gestational-age infant for adolescents consuming high sugar diets, regardless of their ethnicity. In addition, gestational age at delivery was -1.69 +/- 0.62 wk (beta +/- SE) shorter among Puerto Rican adolescents consuming high sugar diets (P = 0.007) compared with all reference sugar consumers and white adolescents consuming high sugar diets. Black adolescents consuming high sugar diets did not exhibit a shortening of gestation. Thus, adolescents consuming high sugar diets are at increased risk for delivering small-for-gestational-age infants, and for delivering infants earlier if they are of Puerto Rican ethnicity.

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