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Organic food consumption during pregnancy is associated with different consumer profiles, food patterns and intake: the KOALA Birth Cohort Study

  • Ana Paula Simões-Wüst (a1) (a2), Carolina Moltó-Puigmartí (a3), Martien CJM van Dongen (a3) (a4), Pieter C Dagnelie (a3) (a4) and Carel Thijs (a3)...
Abstract
Objective

To find out how the consumption of organic food during pregnancy is associated with consumer characteristics, dietary patterns and macro- and micronutrient intakes.

Design

Cross-sectional description of consumer characteristics, dietary patterns and macro- and micronutrient intakes associated with consumption of organic food during pregnancy.

Setting

Healthy, pregnant women recruited to a prospective cohort study at midwives’ practices in the southern part of the Netherlands; to enrich the study with participants adhering to alternative lifestyles, pregnant women were recruited through various specific channels.

Subjects

Participants who filled in questionnaires on food frequency in gestational week 34 (n 2786). Participant groups were defined based on the share of organic products within various food types.

Results

Consumers of organic food more often adhere to specific lifestyle rules, such as vegetarianism or anthroposophy, than do participants who consume conventional food only (reference group). Consumption of organic food is associated with food patterns comprising more products of vegetable origin (soya/vegetarian products, vegetables, cereal products, bread, fruits, and legumes) and fewer animal products (milk and meat), sugar and potatoes than consumed in conventional diets. These differences translate into distinct intakes of macro- and micronutrients, including higher retinol, carotene, tocopherol and folate intakes, lower intakes of vitamin D and B12 and specific types of trans-fatty acids in the organic groups. These differences are seen even in groups with low consumption of organic food.

Conclusions

Various consumer characteristics, specific dietary patterns and types of food intake are associated with the consumption of organic food during pregnancy.

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Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Email anapaula.simoes-wuest@usz.ch
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Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
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Supplementary materials

Simões-Wüst supplementary material
Figure S1 and Tables S1-S2

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