Maternal dietary intakes of refined grains during pregnancy and growth through the first 7 y of life among children born to women with gestational diabetes

Yeyi Zhu, Sjurdur F. Olsen, Pauline Mendola, Thorhallur I. Halldorsson, Edwina H. Yeung, Charlotta Granström, Anne A. Bjerregaard, Jing Wu, Shristi Rawal, Jorge E. Chavarro, Frank B. Hu, Cuilin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Refined grains, a major source of dietary carbohydrates, have been related to impaired glucose homeostasis and obesity. Emerging animal data suggest that in utero exposure to dietary
refined carbohydrates may predispose offspring to an obese phenotype, indicating a potential role for nutritional programming in the
early origins of obesity, but intergenerational human data are lacking.
Objective: We prospectively investigated refined-grain intake during pregnancy in association with offspring growth through age 7 y
among high-risk children born to women with gestational diabetes
mellitus (GDM).
Design: The analysis included 918 mother–singleton child dyads from
the Danish National Birth Cohort. Offspring body mass index z scores
(BMIZs) were calculated by using weight and length or height measured at birth, 5 and 12 mo, and 7 y. Overweight or obesity was defined
by WHO cutoffs. Linear and Poisson regressions were used, with
adjustment for maternal demographic, lifestyle, and dietary factors.
Results: Refined-grain intake during pregnancy was positively associated with offspring BMIZ (adjusted b per serving increase per
day: 0.09; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.15) and risk of overweight or obesity at
age 7 y [adjusted RR (aRR) comparing the highest with the lowest
quartile: 1.80; 95% CI: 1.09, 2.98; P-trend = 0.032]. The association
appeared to be more pronounced among children who were
breastfed ,6 mo. The substitution of 1 serving refined grains/d with
an equal serving of whole grains during pregnancy was related to a
10% reduced risk of offspring overweight or obesity at 7 y of age
(aRR: 0.90; 95% CI: 0.82, 0.98). No associations were observed
between refined-grain intake and infant growth.
Conclusions: Higher maternal refined-grain intake during pregnancy was significantly related to a greater BMIZ and a higher risk
of overweight or obesity at age 7 y among children born after
pregnancies complicated by GDM. The findings highlight pregnancy as a potential window of susceptibility associated with offspring growth and obesity risk among this high-risk population.
Data with longer follow-up are warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-104
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of clinical nutrition
Volume106
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Childhood obesity
  • Diet
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Intrauterine exposure
  • Nutrition

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