Intake of Key Pregnancy Nutrients in Midwest Adolescents of Childbearing Potential: Vitamin D, Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, and Folate

Corrine Hanson, Ann Anderson-Berry, Elizabeth Lyden, Karen Rafferty, Laura Armas, Elizabeth Elliott, Elizabeth Dudley, Joan M. Lappe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Nutrient intake in the preconception period can have profound effects on pregnancy outcomes. Pregnancy during adolescence is often unplanned and associated with lower rates of prenatal care. Poor baseline nutrition status could contribute to poor pregnancy outcomes. Design A secondary analysis of data obtained from 2 randomized controlled trials conducted from 1997 to 2007 was performed with the objective of quantifying intakes of folate, vitamin D, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)-nutrients potentially affecting pregnancy outcomes in adolescent girls of childbearing age. Participants. Two cohorts of girls living in a metropolitan area were analyzed. The first group, a sample of 64 healthy 9-year-old girls, was followed for 10 years. The second, a similar cohort of 134 healthy girls, was followed for 8 years. Information about nutrient intake from food sources was collected and analyzed during the times the participants were 14 to 19 years old, considered years of potential pregnancy. Statistical analysis. Nutrient intakes of folate, vitamin D, and PUFAs were compared with dietary reference intake values. Nutrient intakes were considered repeated measures and fit with a linear mixed-effect model to evaluate the change over time. Results. High proportions of participants had nutrient intakes from food sources below the estimated average requirement for folate and vitamin D. At some ages, intake of PUFAs was less than half of the adequate intake. Conclusion. Health care professionals should be aware that adolescent girls with childbearing potential may have inadequate intakes of nutrients, potentially affecting pregnancy outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-360
Number of pages6
JournalInfant, Child, and Adolescent Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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