A proinflammatory, low-quality maternal diet may be associated with childhood adiposity, according to a study published in BMC Medicine. Researchers 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 study team 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 [OR], 1.09 per one standard deviation [SD] E-DII score increase) and an inverse association for late-pregnancy E-DII score with earlychildhood OWOB (OR, 0.91). There was an association seen for higher maternal whole pregnancy DASH score (higher dietary quality) with lower odds of late-childhood OWOB (OR, 0.92 per one SD DASH score increase); similar associations were seen for early and late pregnancy (ORs, 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. “Proinflammatory, low-quality maternal pregnancy diets may adversely influence offspring adiposity and obesity risk, especially during late-childhood,” the study authors write.
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