Sociodemographic, Lifestyle, Environmental and Pregnancy-Related Determinants of Dietary Patterns during Pregnancy

Ewelina Wesołowska, Agnieszka Jankowska, Elżbieta Trafalska, Paweł Kałużny, Mariusz Grzesiak, Jolanta Dominowska, Wojciech Hanke, Gemma Calamandrei, Kinga Polańska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Characterization of dietary patterns represents a valid and meaningful measure of overall diet quality and nutrient intake. The study aims at evaluating the sociodemographic, lifestyle, environmental, and pregnancy-related determinants of maternal dietary patterns during pregnancy. Methods: The analysis was conducted on a group of pregnant women from the Polish Mother and Child Cohort (REPRO_PL). During the second trimester of pregnancy, 1306 women filled in a modified version of the validated food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Dietary patterns were estimated using an exploratory factor analysis. Potential dietary determinants were assessed via a questionnaire or biomarker measurements (saliva cotinine level). Results: Two dietary patterns were identified. The Prudent dietary pattern was characterized by high consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, poultry, and low-fat dairy products, while the Western dietary pattern included high intake of refined grains, processed meat, potatoes, and very low intake of whole grains. Clear sociodemographic, environmental, lifestyle, and pregnancy-related determinants of diet quality were established. Older age (β = 0.2; p < 0.01), higher educational level (β = 0.3; p < 0.01), and socioeconomic status (SES) (β = 0.2; p < 0.01), overweight/obesity before (β = 0.3; p < 0.01), as well as physical activity during pregnancy (β = 0.2; p = 0.01) were positive determinants of a healthier diet (increasing Prudent⁻Western difference in dietary pattern scores). On the other hand, parity (β = -0.2; p = 0.04) and living in small cities (β = -0.3; p = 0.02) were significantly related to a rather Western dietary pattern. Conclusions: The current study presents evidence on specific factors influencing dietary patterns. They need to be accounted for in educational programs and interventions focused on healthy diet recommendations during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2 2019


  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet, Healthy
  • Diet, Western
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Poland
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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