The association between the macronutrient content of maternal diet and the adequacy of micronutrients during pregnancy in the women and their children's health (WATCH) study

Michelle Blumfield, Alexis Hure, Lesley Macdonald-Wicks, Roger Smith, Stephen Simpson, David Raubenheimer, Clare Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

27 Citations (Scopus)


Nutrition during pregnancy can induce alterations in offspring phenotype. Maternal ratio of protein to non-protein (P:NP) energy has been linked to variations in offspring body composition and adult risk of metabolic disease. This study describes the dietary patterns of pregnant women by tertiles of the P:NP ratio and compares diet to Australian recommendations. Data are from 179 Australian women enrolled in the Women and Their Children’s Health Study. Diet was assessed using a validated 74-item food frequency questionnaire. Food group servings and nutrient intakes were compared to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and Australian Nutrient Reference Values. Higher maternal P:NP tertile was positively associated with calcium (P = 0.003), zinc (P = 0.001) and servings of dairy (P = 0.001) and meat (P = 0.001) food groups, and inversely associated with the energy dense, nutrient poor non-core (P = 0.003) food group. Micronutrient intakes were optimized with intermediate protein (18%E–20%E), intermediate fat (28%E–30%E) and intermediate carbohydrate (50%E–54%E) intakes, as indicated in tertile two. Results suggest a moderate protein intake may support pregnant women to consume the largest variety of nutrients across all food groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1958-1976
Number of pages19
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • maternal
  • pregnancy
  • dietary intake
  • nutrition
  • nutrient requirements
  • protein

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