HealthDay News — A proinflammatory, low-quality maternal diet may be associated with childhood adiposity, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in BMC Medicine.

Ling-Wei Chen, Ph.D., from University College Dublin, and colleagues harmonized and pooled individual participant data from 16,295 mother-child pairs in seven European birth cohorts to examine the association between maternal diet quality and inflammatory potential and childhood adiposity. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) score and energy-adjusted Dietary Inflammatory Index (E-DII) score were used to assess maternal dietary quality and inflammatory potential during pregnancy.

The researchers observed an association between higher early pregnancy E-DII scores (more proinflammatory diet) and higher odds of late childhood overweight and obesity (OWOB; odds ratio, 1.09 per one-standard deviation E-DII score increase) and an inverse association for late-pregnancy E-DII score with early-childhood OWOB (odds ratio, 0.91). There was an association seen for higher maternal whole pregnancy DASH score (higher dietary quality) with lower odds of late-childhood OWOB (odds ratio, 0.92 per one-standard deviation DASH score increase); similar associations were seen for early and late pregnancy (odds ratios, 0.86 and 0.91, respectively). In two cohorts with data, higher whole pregnancy E-DII and lower DASH scores were associated with a lower late-childhood fat-free mass index in boys and a higher mid-childhood fat mass index in girls.

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“Proinflammatory, low-quality maternal pregnancy diets may adversely influence offspring adiposity and obesity risk, especially during late-childhood,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, nutrition, and medical technology industries.

Abstract/Full Text