Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Health care sciences and services, Nutrition, Dietetics, Public and environmental health

Publication Details

Journal of Public Health


Background: Maternal nutrition intakes may influence neonatal birthweight and adiposity; however, inconsistencies within the literature exist. The relationships between maternal dietary intakes in early pregnancy and both birthweight and neonatal adiposity requires elucidation. This study examined the relationship between early pregnancy dietary intakes and subsequent birthweight and neonatal adiposity.

Methods: Women were recruited at their convenience after sonographic confirmation of a singleton pregnancy. Women completed a Willet food frequency questionnaire evaluating habitual food and nutrient intakes at their first antenatal visit. Neonatal body composition was measured using air-displacement plethysmography.

Results: Of the 385 mother-neonate dyads, mean maternal age was 30.8 ± 5.3 years, mean Body Mass Index (BMI) was 24.5 ± 4.8 kg/m2 and 41.8% (n = 161) were nulliparous. There were no relationships between maternal food intakes and birthweight (P > 0.05) (n = 385). On multivariable analysis there was a positive relationship between polyunsaturated fat and neonatal fat mass index (FMI) (beta = 0.015, 95% CI = 0.002-0.028, P = 0.04) (n = 80).

Conclusion: Dietary intakes of polyunsaturated fat in early pregnancy are positively associated with neonatal FMI at birth on multivariable analysis. Further longitudinal studies need to explore this association and the long-term implications for the neonate.