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Proposal of a Mediterranean diet index for pregnant women

  • Miguel Mariscal-Arcas (a1), Ana Rivas (a1), Celia Monteagudo (a1), Alicia Granada (a1), Isabel Cerrillo (a2) and Fatima Olea-Serrano (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 14 September 2009

Numerous studies have addressed the nutritional needs of pregnant women. The nutritional status of the woman before and during gestation affects the growth of the fetus and the course of the pregnancy and influences the risk of obesity for mother and infant. The aim of this study was to propose a diet quality index for pregnancy based on a Mediterranean-type diet (MDS-P), evaluating the diet of a group of pregnant women by applying the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) and evaluating their intake of micronutrients required in optimal amounts during pregnancy, such as Fe, folic acid and Ca. The data used to construct this index (MDS-P) were gathered by means of a FFQ specifically designed for pregnant women. The mean MDS of this group, was 4·31 (sd 1·32), considered to represent satisfactory compliance with the Mediterranean diet (range 0–8). The mean MDS-P (range 0–11), which also takes account of dietary intake or supplements of folic acid, Fe and Ca was 7·53 (sd 1·44), indicating a compliance of around 70 %. The present study findings suggest that the MDS-P, which evaluates the adequacy of folic acid, Fe and Ca as well as compliance with the Mediterranean diet, may represent a valid tool for the specific assessment of the diet of pregnant women living in countries in the Mediterranean area. Further studies are required to complete the validation process.

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*Corresponding author: Dr Fatima Olea-Serrano, fax +34 958 249577, email
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British Journal of Nutrition
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