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Quantity and Quality of Carbohydrate Intake during Pregnancy, Newborn Body Fatness and Cardiac Autonomic Control: Conferred Cardiovascular Risk?

1
Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders, D17-Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia
2
Sydney Medical School, D17-Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia
3
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Missenden Road, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia
4
Sydney School of Public Health, Edward Ford Building, Fisher Road, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
5
School of Medical Science & Bosch Institute, Anderson Stuart Building (F13), University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2017, 9(12), 1375; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9121375
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Carbohydrate Diet and Human Health)
The fetal environment has an important influence on health and disease over the life course. Maternal nutritional status during pregnancy is potentially a powerful contributor to the intrauterine environment, and may alter offspring physiology and later life cardio-metabolic risk. Putative early life markers of cardio-metabolic risk include newborn body fatness and cardiac autonomic control. We sought to determine whether maternal dietary carbohydrate quantity and/or quality during pregnancy are associated with newborn body composition and cardiac autonomic function. Maternal diet during pregnancy was assessed in 142 mother-infant pairs using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Infant adiposity and body composition were assessed at birth using air-displacement plethysmography. Cardiac autonomic function was assessed as heart rate variability. The quantity of carbohydrates consumed during pregnancy, as a percentage of total energy intake, was not associated with meaningful differences in offspring birth weight, adiposity or heart rate variability (p > 0.05). There was some evidence that maternal carbohydrate quality, specifically higher fibre and lower glycemic index, is associated with higher heart rate variability in the newborn offspring (p = 0.06). This suggests that poor maternal carbohydrate quality may be an important population-level inter-generational risk factor for later cardiac and hemodynamic risk of their offspring. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbohydrate; maternal diet; fibre; glycaemic index; glycaemic load; autonomic function; body composition; heart rate variability; infant; adiposity carbohydrate; maternal diet; fibre; glycaemic index; glycaemic load; autonomic function; body composition; heart rate variability; infant; adiposity
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Mckenzie, K.M.; Dissanayake, H.U.; McMullan, R.; Caterson, I.D.; Celermajer, D.S.; Gordon, A.; Hyett, J.; Meroni, A.; Phang, M.; Raynes-Greenow, C.; Polson, J.W.; Skilton, M.R. Quantity and Quality of Carbohydrate Intake during Pregnancy, Newborn Body Fatness and Cardiac Autonomic Control: Conferred Cardiovascular Risk? Nutrients 2017, 9, 1375.

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