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Maternal loss of control over eating leads to lower vitamin intake, obesity in offspring

16 Jul 2018

Loss of control over eating (LOC) in pregnancy is common and has short- and long-term adverse effects on mother and offspring, according to a study, adding that pregnancy LOC merits further attention.

To determine whether pregnancy LOC is associated with dietary, gestational weight gain and offspring birth-weight outcomes, women (n=11,132) from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children were recruited in this large population-based prospective study.

The authors used crude and adjusted logistic and multinomial regression models, and assessed LOC in pregnancy and diet at 32 weeks of gestation using self-report. Pregnancy weight gain and birth weight were taken from obstetric records. Child weight and height were measured at age 15.5 years.

Of the women, 36.6 percent had LOC in pregnancy. These women had higher total energy intake, consumed more snacks, and had lower vitamin B6, A and C intake compared with those without LOC. In adjusted analyses, women with frequent LOC reported lower vitamin B1 (b=–0.05; 95 percent CI, –0.07 to –0.02) and folate intake (b=–7.1; –11.8 to –2.3) and gained a mean 3.74 kg (3.33–4.13 kg) compared with those without LOC.

Higher birth weight was associated with frequent (b=0.07; 0.03–1) and occasional LOC (b=0.04; 0.02–0.06). Moreover, there was a twofold increased odds of being overweight/obese in offspring of mother with frequent LOC at 15.5 years (odds ratio, 2.02; 1.37–3.01).

“Our findings further the understanding of risk factors for obesity and highlight a need for improved identification of maternal pregnancy LOC eating,” the authors said.

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