Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

A systematic review of dietary assessments of pregnant adolescents in industrialised countries

  • Victoria Hall Moran (a1)

Adolescent pregnancy is a major public health challenge for many industrialised countries and is associated with significant medical, nutritional, social and economic risk for mothers and their infants. Despite this, relatively little is known about the nutrient intakes of adolescents during pregnancy. The aim of this study is to review the current evidence relating to the dietary assessment of pregnant adolescents living in industrialised countries. Nine papers were identified that fulfilled the inclusion criteria, seven of which were conducted in the USA. Mean nutrient intakes were compared with the most recent US dietary reference intakes (DRI) for pregnant adolescents. Despite the poor quality of the majority of studies, there appeared to be some consensus to suggest that the nutrient intakes of pregnant adolescents were below the DRI for energy, iron, folate, calcium, vitamin E and magnesium, nutrients which are recognised to be vital for fetal growth and development during pregnancy. Modest differences were observed in nutrient intake between trimesters and age groups. Current research is limited by sampling and measurement bias, and research is urgently required to address these limitations. Further consideration should also be made of the influence of age and of role of socio-economic support on pregnant adolescents' nutrient intake. The achievement of improved nutrition in pregnancy among adolescents requires multidisciplinary collaborations of adolescent health care providers, academics, professional organisations, policy makers, industry and service users. Only once this is achieved can adolescent nutrition, and adolescent nutrition in pregnancy, be significantly and sustainably optimised.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      A systematic review of dietary assessments of pregnant adolescents in industrialised countries
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      A systematic review of dietary assessments of pregnant adolescents in industrialised countries
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      A systematic review of dietary assessments of pregnant adolescents in industrialised countries
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Dr V. Hall Moran, fax +44 1772 892914, email
Hide All
P Attree (2005) Low-income mothers, nutrition and health: a systematic review of qualitative evidence. Maternal and Child Nutrition 1, 227240.

AE Black & TJ Cole (2001) Biased over- or under-reporting is characteristic of individuals whether over time or by different assessment methods. J Am Diet Assoc 101, 7080.

SA Bowman (2002) Beverage choices of young females: changes and impact on nutrient intakes. J Am Diet Assoc 102, 12341239.

SA Bowman , SL Gortmaker , CB Ebbeling , MA Pereira & DS Ludwig (2004) Effects of fast-food consumption on energy intake and diet quality among children in a national household survey. Pediatrics 113, 112118.

J Buttris (2002) Nutrition, health and schoolchildren. Nutr Bull 27, 275305.

J Buttriss (2004) Strategies to increase folate/folic acid intake in women: an overview. Nutr Bull 29, 234244.

BR Carruth (1981) Smoking and pregnancy outcome of adolescents. J Adolesc Health Care 2, 115120.

C Cavadini , AM Siega-Riz & BM Popkin (2000) US adolescent food intake trends from 1965 to 1996. Arch Dis Child 83, 1824.

C Dunn , K Kolasa , PC Dunn & MB Ogle (1994) Dietary intake of pregnant adolescents in a rural southern community. J Am Diet Assoc 94, 10401041.

G Edwards , M Stainisstreet & E Boyes (1997) Adolescents' ideas about the health of the fetus. Midwifery 13, 1723.

SL Gadowsky , K Gale , SA Wolfe , J Jory , R Gibson & DL O'Connor (1995) Biochemical folate, B12 and iron status of a group of pregnant adolescents accessed through the public health system in Southern Ontario. J Adolesc Health 16, 465474.

RS Gibson , IL Gibson & J Kitching (1985) A study of inter- and intra-subject variability in seven-day weighed dietary intakes with particular emphasis on trace elements. Biol Trace Elem Res 8, 7991.

JB Giddens , SK Krug , RC Tsang , S Guo , M Miodovnik & JA Prada (2000) Pregnant adolescent and adult women have similarly low intakes of selected nutrients. J Am Diet Assoc 100, 13341340.

G Goldberg (2002) Nutrition in pregnancy and lactation. In Nutrition Through the Life Cycle, pp. 6390 [ P Shetty , editor]. Leatherhead, UK: Leatherhead Publishing.

YM Gutierrez (1999) Cultural factors affecting diet and pregnancy outcome of Mexican American adolescents. J Adolesc Health 25, 227237.

Y Gutierrez & JC King (1993) Nutrition during adolescent pregnancy. Pediatr Ann 22, 99108.

L Harnack , J Stang & M Story (1999) Soft drink consumption among US children and adolescents: nutritional consequences. J Am Diet Assoc 99, 436441.

MA Honein , LJ Paulozzi , TJ Matthews , JD Erickson & LY Wong (2001) Impact of folic acid fortification of the US food supply on the incidence of neural tube defects. J Am Med Assoc 285, 29812986.

CE Irwin , V Igra , S Eyre & S Millstein (1997) Risk-taking behavior in adolescents: the paradigm. Ann NY Acad Sci 817, 135.

A Kelly , J Kevany , M de Onis & PM Shah (1996) A WHO collaborative study of maternal anthropometry and pregnancy outcomes. Int J Gynecol Obst 53, 219233.

S Lee & M Reicks (2003) Environmental and behavioural factors are associated with the calcium intake of low-income adolescent girls. J Am Diet Assoc 103, 15261529.

CM Lenders , ML Hediger , TO Scholl , C-S Khoo , GB Slap & VA Stallings (1994) Effect of high-sugar intake by low-income pregnant adolescents on infant birth weight. J Adolesc Health 15, 596602.

CM Lenders , TF McElrath & TO Scholl (2000) Nutrition in adolescent pregnancy. Curr Opin Pediatr 12, 291296.

LA Lytle (2002) Nutritional issues for adolescents. J Am Diet Assoc 102, S8S12.

MRC Vitamin Study Research Group (1991) Prevention of neural tube defects: results of the Medical Research Council Vitamin Study. Lancet 338, 131–137.

M Nelson & SA Bingham (1997) Assessment of food consumption and nutrient intake. In Design Concepts in Nutritional Epidemiology, 2nd ed., pp. 123169 [ BM Margetts and M Nelson , editors]. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

PO Olausson , S Cnattingius & B Haglund (1999) Teenage pregnancies and risk of late fetal death and infant mortality. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 106, 116–121.

RS Pobocik , JC Benavente , NS Boudreau & CL Spore (2003) Pregnant adolescents in Guam consume diets low in calcium and other micronutrients. J Am Diet Assoc 103, 611614.

JE Pope , JD Skinner & BR Carruth (1997) Adolescents' self-reported motivations for dietary change during pregnancy. Journal of Nutrition Education 29, 137–144.

AM Prentice , GR Goldberg , HL Davies , PR Murgatroyd & W Scott (1989) Energy sparing adaptations in human pregnancy assessed by whole body calorimetry. Br J Nutr 62, 5–22.

E Reifsnider & SL Gill (2000) Nutrition for the childbearing years. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs 29, 4355.

G Smithers , JR Gregory , CJ Bates , A Prentice , LV Jackson & R Wenlock (2000) The National Diet and Nutrition Survey: young people aged 4–18 years. Nutr Bull 25, 105–111.

C Stevens-Simon , S Fullar & ER McAnarney (1992) Tangible differences between adolescent-oriented and adult-oriented prenatal care. J Adolesc Health 13, 298302.

M Story & I Alton (1995) Nutrition issues and adolescent pregnancy. Nutr Today 30, 142–151.

RH Striegel-Moore , D Thompson , SG Affenito , DL Franko , E Obarzanek , BA Barton , GB Schreiber , SR Daniels , M Schmidt & PB Crawford (2006) Correlates of beverage intake in adolescent girls: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study. J Pediatr 148, 183187.

AG Symon & WL Wrieden (2003) A qualitative study of pregnant teenagers' perceptions of the acceptability of a nutritional education intervention. Midwifery 19, 140–147.

KM Tomashek , CV Ananth & ME Cogswell (2006) Risk of stillbirth in relation to maternal haemoglobin concentration during pregnancy. Maternal Child Nutr 2, 19–28.

JG Umans & MD Lindheimer (2001) Antihypertensive therapy in pregnancy. Curr Hypertens Rep 3, 392399.

CA Vereecken , J Inchley , SV Subramanian , A Hublet & L Maes (2005) The relative influence of individual and contextual socio-economic status on consumption of fruit and soft drinks among adolescents in Europe. Eur J Public Health 15, 224–232.

TM Videon & CK Manning (2003) Influences on adolescent eating patterns: the importance of family meals. J Adolesc Health 32, 365373.

R Wahl (1999) Nutrition in the adolescent. Pediatr Ann 28, 107–111.

C Weaver (2000) Calcium and magnesium requirements of children and adolescents and peak bone mass. Nutrition 16, 514516.

J Wild , CJ Schorah , K Maude & MI Levene (1996) Folate intake in young women and their knowledge of pre-conceptional folate supplementation to prevent neural tube defects. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 70, 185189.

J Wild , M Sutcliffe , CJ Schorah & MI Levene (1997) Prevention of neural tube defects. Lancet 350, 30–31.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 25
Total number of PDF views: 121 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 181 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 17th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.