According to a recent study, pregnant women with higher intake of a Mediterranean diet have 32% lower risk of getting children with an accelerated growth pattern, as compared to offspring of women that did not follow such a diet.
The Mediterranean diet is characterized by a high content of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes, and nuts. This healthy diet pattern has earlier been related to lower obesity and cardiometabolic risk in adults.
This study, conducted at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, geared toward evaluating the association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet throughout pregnancy and growth patterns and cardiometabolic risk in early infancy.
The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Pediatrics. It absolutely was performed with data of over 27,700 pregnant women who filled in a questionnaire on dietary intake in the first and third trimester of pregnancy. In addition, the diet, weight, and height of their offspring were followed-up from birth to age four years. Other tests such as blood analysis and blood pressure were also performed.
“Mothers with lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet were younger, consumed a lot of calories, and had the upper likelihood of smoking and a lower education and social level, as compared to those women who did follow the diet,” said Silvia Fernandez, researcher and first author of the study.
These results supported the hypothesis that a healthy diet during pregnancy can have a beneficial effect on child development.