Effect of season on diet during pregnancy and infant outcome

The diet that the Mother eats during the pregnancy must be important for the baby
So an exciting and intriguing paper from New Zealand appears in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition examining whether seasonal variation of nutrition in pregnancy effects infant measures and the health of the baby.
The authors PE Watson and BW McDonald looked at whether there was any seasonal effect on nutrient intake during pregnancy and birth measurements, secondly if there was any relationship between maternal nutrient intake and infant birth measure according to season and thirdly to test the hypothesis that seasonal change in nutrient intake might effect health in later life of some mothers offspring.
A great idea, though in our society the super market neutralises the effect of seasons by having similar foods available all the year round.
They studied 214 pregnancies in lower Northern New Zealand.
Significant seasonal variation was found for fat, carbohydrate ,electrolytes, vitamin and trace metal intake.
There was no effect on gestational weight and head circumference. with season. There were significant effects of birth measures and specific maternal nutrients at months 4 and 7 of pregnancy.
They conclude that seasonal nutrient variation may affect foetal development.
PE Watson and BW McDonald 2007, European Journal Clinical Nutrition, vol 61, 127-1280

Martin Eastwood
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