Evaluation of nutrient intakes of pregnant and non-pregnant women

Leila M Shinn, Kelly S Swanson, Hannah D Holscher


During pregnancy, women need to increase their energy intake and certain vitamins and minerals to ensure that both the mother and fetus remain healthy. Therefore, it is crucial that women-- both pregnant and those capable of becoming pregnant-- are properly nourished to provide a healthy environment for their child. The objective of this study was to determine if pregnant women’s dietary intakes meet their dietary reference intakes (DRIs) independent of supplementation and to determine if non-pregnant women of childbearing age have adequate intakes of key nutrients important for conception and pregnancy. Our study examined 15 pregnant and 15 non-pregnant women between the ages of 20 and 33 years recruited from the Urbana-Champaign area. Study participants completed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). FFQ data was then analyzed using Diet*Calc (2013, NCI) and Statistical Analysis System (SAS). Nutrient data was compared to the 2001 Dietary Reference Intake values. There were no differences in mean nutrient intakes between pregnant and non-pregnant women. Both pregnant and non-pregnant women exceeded the DRIs for vitamins A, B12, and C, riboflavin, and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Our findings indicate that both pregnant and non-pregnant women from the Champaign-Urbana area may benefit from dietary education and/or supplementation in order to prevent development of adverse health effects in the fetus.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Leila M Shinn, Kelly S Swanson, Hannah D Holscher

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