Dietary patterns by cluster analysis in pregnant women: relationship with nutrient intakes and dietary patterns in 7-year-old offspring

Ana Amélia Freitas-Vilela, Andrew D A C Smith, Gilberto Kac, Rebecca M Pearson, Jon Heron, Alan Emond, Joseph R Hibbeln, Maria Beatriz Trindade Castro, Pauline M Emmett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Little is known about how dietary patterns of mothers and their children track over time. The objectives of this study are to obtain dietary patterns in pregnancy using cluster analysis, to examine women's mean nutrient intakes in each cluster and to compare the dietary patterns of mothers to those of their children. Pregnant women (n = 12 195) from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children reported their frequency of consumption of 47 foods and food groups. These data were used to obtain dietary patterns during pregnancy by cluster analysis. The absolute and energy-adjusted nutrient intakes were compared between clusters. Women's dietary patterns were compared with previously derived clusters of their children at 7 years of age. Multinomial logistic regression was performed to evaluate relationships comparing maternal and offspring clusters. Three maternal clusters were identified: 'fruit and vegetables', 'meat and potatoes' and 'white bread and coffee'. After energy adjustment women in the 'fruit and vegetables' cluster had the highest mean nutrient intakes. Mothers in the 'fruit and vegetables' cluster were more likely than mothers in 'meat and potatoes' (adjusted odds ratio [OR]: 2.00; 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.69-2.36) or 'white bread and coffee' (OR: 2.18; 95% CI: 1.87-2.53) clusters to have children in a 'plant-based' cluster. However the majority of children were in clusters unrelated to their mother dietary pattern. Three distinct dietary patterns were obtained in pregnancy; the 'fruit and vegetables' pattern being the most nutrient dense. Mothers' dietary patterns were associated with but did not dominate offspring dietary patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12353
Number of pages14
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Issue number2
Early online date9 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

Structured keywords

  • Bristol Population Health Science Institute


  • dietary patterns
  • cluster analysis
  • pregnancy
  • children
  • nutritional epidemiology


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