The aim of the study is to explore the dietary intakes of a prominent ethnic minority group of women from Sub-Saharan Africa during pregnancy, in order to identify nutritional issues of concern which may impact on pregnancy outcomes and whether different food based dietary guidelines may be required to meet their needs. This is an observational study with quantitative assessment of nutrient intakes and an exploration of meal composition and food choices. Fifty-two Nigerian pregnant women in their second or third trimester of pregnancy were recruited from antenatal clinics in the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. Early pregnancy weight was measured and body mass index recorded. A 24 h dietary recall was used to assess food and nutrient intakes. Eighty-nine per cent of the study population were classified as overweight or obese. These women appear to be maintaining traditional African dietary habits and have a healthy macronutrient composition in the diet. The intake of key pregnancy micronutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and folate may be insufficient from diet alone to meet requirements and supplements may be inadequately utilized in a timely manner. These women represent a vulnerable obstetric group that may be at risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes due to high obesity rates and inadequate micronutrient status in early pregnancy. Provision of dietary advice should be tailored to suit their cultural dietary practices and food preferences. Pre-conception counselling on healthy lifestyle and appropriate supplement usage may be beneficial, although larger studies are required to assess the need for specific nutrition policy recommendations.
University College Dublin ->