This site is intended for health professionals only

Diets during pregnancy ‘improve outcomes’

Dietary interventions for pregnant women significantly reduce gestational weight gain and improve outcomes for new-born babies, according to UK researchers.

Their meta-analysis of 44 randomised trials involving 7,300 women found dietary interventions  reduced weight gain during pregnancy by 3.84kg, compared with those who underwent no intervention.

A physical activity intervention only resulted in a mean difference of -0.72kg, compared with those not undergoing the intervention, and combining the two approaches resulted in a difference of -1.06kg.

Dietary interventions were also associated with a 70% reduction in risk for gestational hypertension compared to an 8% increase with a mixed intervention, and a significant risk reduction in gestational diabetes mellitus of 61%.

Study lead Dr Shakila Thangaratinam, consultant in obstetrics and maternal medicine, said: ‘With the clear benefit in gestational weight gain observed with dietary interventions in pregnancy, there is a potential for this strategy to be also cost effective compared with other methods.’


BMJ 2012;344:e2088