The impact a Mediterranean diet in the third trimester of pregnancy has on neonatal body fat percentage
Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Cambridge University Press
School of Medical and Health Sciences
WA Sceptics Society / Telethon Perth Children’s Hospital Research Fund / Joondalup Health Campus / Paul Ramsay Foundation / Commonwealth Government of Australia through the Channel 7 Telethon Trust
Maternal diet during pregnancy has long been recognised as an important determinant of neonatal outcomes and child development. Infant body composition is a potentially modifiable risk factor for predicting future health and metabolic disease. Utilising the Mediterranean Diet Score, this study focused on how different levels of Mediterranean Diet adherence (MDA) in pregnancy influence body fat percentage of the infant. Information on 458 pregnant women in their third trimester of pregnancy and their infants was obtained from The ORIGINS Project. The data included MDA score, body composition measurements using infant air displacement plethysmography (PEA POD), pregnancy, and birth information. Infants born to mothers with high MDA had a body fat percentage of 11.3 %, whereas infants born to mothers with low MDA had a higher body fat percentage of 13.3% (p = 0.010). When adjusted for pre-pregnancy body mass index and infant sex, a significant result remained between high vs. low MDA and infant fat mass (FM) (2.5 % less FM p = 0.016). This study suggests that high MDA in pregnancy was associated with a reduced body fat percentage in the newborn. Future studies are needed to understand whether small but significant changes in FM persist throughout childhood.