Plant-based diet may reduce risk of gestational weight gain

26 Jun 2023
Plant-based diet may reduce risk of gestational weight gain

Pregnant women who adhere to a plant-based dietary pattern during their first trimester appear to have a lower risk of inadequate gestational weight gain (GWG), reports a recent study.

A total of 657 pregnant women in Iran were prospectively followed in this study. Using a 90-item food frequency questionnaire, the authors assessed adherence to the plant-based diet, represented by plant-based (PDI), healthy (hPDI), and unhealthy (uPDI) dietary indexes, during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95 percent confidence intervals (CIs) across quartiles of plant-based diet scores were computed using a multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional-hazards regression model.

Overall, 106 and 294 participants were found to have inadequate and excessive GWG, respectively, over 25,562 person-weeks of follow-up.

After adjusting for demographic and confounding variables, a strong inverse relationship was observed between adherence to the PDI and inadequate GWG. Women in the highest quartile of the PDI had a 50-percent reduced risk of inadequate GWG compared with those in the lowest quartile (adjusted HR, 0.50, 95 percent CI, 0.29‒0.89; p=0.02).

On the other hand, hPDI and uPDI showed no significant association with inadequate GWG. Likewise, PDI, hPDI, and uPDI had no association with the risk of excessive GWG.

“[These findings need] to be confirmed in larger cohort studies, considering other pregnancy outcomes such as birth weight and the potential changes across the trimester in terms of food types and quantity,” the authors said.

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