Trajectories of dietary patterns from pregnancy to 12 years post-pregnancy and associated maternal characteristics: evidence from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children

Pervin, Sonia, Emmett, Pauline, Northstone, Kate, Townsend, Nick, Fatima, Yaqoot, Huda, M. Mamun, McIntyre, H. David, and Al Mamun, Abdullah (2023) Trajectories of dietary patterns from pregnancy to 12 years post-pregnancy and associated maternal characteristics: evidence from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. European Journal of Nutrition, 62. pp. 2763-2777.

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Purpose: Dietary patterns (DPs) during pregnancy have been well researched. However, little is known about maternal diet after pregnancy. The aim of the study was to explore maternal DPs longitudinally, examine trajectories over 12 years after pregnancy and identify associated factors.

Methods: Of 14,541 pregnant women enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) complete dietary information was available for 5336 women. Principal components analysis (PCA) was used to derive DPs. DP scores at each time point were used to create DP trajectories using group-based trajectory modelling (GBTM). Multinomial logistic regression assessed the association with maternal factors.

Results: A total of six distinct DPs were identified over time with different numbers of DPs at each time point. The “healthy” and “processed” DPs persisted over the 12-year post-pregnancy. Three trajectories of “healthy” and “processed” DPs were identified from GBTM. Half the women were on the moderately healthy DP trajectory with 37% on the lower trajectory and 9% on the higher healthy DP trajectory. 59% of women were on the lower processed DP trajectory with 38% on the moderate trajectory and 3.3% on the higher processed DP trajectory. Low educational attainment, low social class and smoking in pregnancy were independently associated with being on a less favourable DP trajectory over the 12 years.

Conclusion: Health professionals should provide support on smoking cessation along with healthy eating advice during ante-natal counselling. Continued support on eating healthily after pregnancy would be beneficial for mothers and families.

Item ID: 79105
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1436-6215
Keywords: ALSPAC, Dietary patterns, Dietary patterns trajectories, Group-based trajectory modelling, PCA, Pregnancy, Smoking cessation
Copyright Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Funders: ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course and Institute for Social Science Research
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2024 00:07
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420208 Nutritional epidemiology @ 80%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420603 Health promotion @ 20%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200509 Women's and maternal health @ 100%
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