Pregnant Women Living with Obesity: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study of Dietary Quality and Pregnancy Outcomes

MARGARET CHARNLEY, Lisa Newson, Andrew D Weeks, J C Abayomi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
63 Downloads (Pure)


Good maternal nutrition is key to optimal maternal and foetal health. A poor-quality diet is often associated with obesity, and the prevalence and severity of maternal obesity has increased significantly in recent years. This study observed dietary intakes in pregnant women living with obesity and assessed the quality of their diet. In total, 140 women with a singleton pregnancy, aged > 18 years and BMI ≥ 35 kg/m 2, were recruited from antenatal clinics, weighed and completed food diaries at 16‐, 28‐ and 36‐weeks’ gestation. Clinical data were recorded directly from the women’s medical records. Nutrient intake was determined using ‘Microdiet™ ’, then compared to Dietary Reference Values (DRVs). Energy intakes were comparable with DRVs, but intakes of sugar and saturated fatty acids were significantly higher. Intake of fibre and several key micronutrients (Iron, Iodine, Folate and Vitamin D) were significantly low. Several adverse obstetric outcomes were higher than the general obstetric population. Women with obesity, often considered ‘over nourished’, may have diets deficient in essential micronutrients, often associated with poor obstetric outcomes. To address the intergenerational transmission of poor health via poor diets warrants a multi‐disciplinary approach focusing away from ‘dieting’ onto positive messages, emphasising key nutrients required for good maternal and foetal health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1652
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue number5
Early online date13 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2021


  • pregnancy
  • obesity
  • diet
  • BMI
  • malnutrition
  • micronutrients
  • clinical outcomes


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