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Article

Postpartum Diet Quality: A Cross-Sectional Analysis from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health

1
Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI), School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne 3000, Australia
2
Diabetes and Vascular Medicine Unit, Monash Health, Clayton 3168, Australia
3
Centre for Longitudinal and Life Course Research, School of Public Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4000, Australia
4
Cancer Epidemiology Division, Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne 3000, Australia
5
Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3000, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020446
Received: 19 December 2019 / Revised: 30 January 2020 / Accepted: 4 February 2020 / Published: 6 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health in Preconception Pregnancy and Postpartum)
Reproductive-aged women are at high risk of developing obesity, and diet quality is a potential modifiable risk factor. There is limited research exploring diet quality and its association with time since childbirth. Using data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) survey 5 (2009) of women born between 1973–1978, who reported having previously given birth, we investigated the association between time since childbirth and diet quality, and differences in energy, macronutrients, micronutrient intake, and diet quality assessed by the dietary guideline index (DGI) in women stratified by time from last childbirth, early (0–6 months; n = 558) and late (7–12 months; n = 547), and all other women with children (>12 months post childbirth n = 3434). From this cohort, 8200 participants were eligible, of which 4539 participants completed a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and were included in this analysis. Overall, diet quality was higher in early and late postpartum women (mean DGI score 89.8 (SD 10.5) and mean DGI score 90.0 (SD 10.2), respectively) compared to all other women with children (>12 months post childbirth), mean DGI score 85.2 (SD 11.7), p < 0.001. Factors positively associated with diet quality included higher education, physical activity, health provider support, and vitamin and/or mineral supplement use. Conversely, increasing time from childbirth (>12 months), smoking compared with non-smoking and medium income level compared with no income was negatively associated with diet quality. A lower diet quality in women greater than 12 months post childbirth may be reflective of increased pressures, balancing childrearing and return to work responsibilities. This highlights the need to support women beyond the postpartum period to improve modifiable factors associated with weight gain, including diet quality, to optimize health and reduce chronic disease risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: diet quality; nutrition; obesity; prevention; postpartum; reproductive; women diet quality; nutrition; obesity; prevention; postpartum; reproductive; women
MDPI and ACS Style

Martin, J.C.; Joham, A.E.; Mishra, G.D.; Hodge, A.M.; Moran, L.J.; Harrison, C.L. Postpartum Diet Quality: A Cross-Sectional Analysis from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 446. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020446

AMA Style

Martin JC, Joham AE, Mishra GD, Hodge AM, Moran LJ, Harrison CL. Postpartum Diet Quality: A Cross-Sectional Analysis from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2020; 9(2):446. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020446

Chicago/Turabian Style

Martin, Julie C., Anju E. Joham, Gita D. Mishra, Allison M. Hodge, Lisa J. Moran, and Cheryce L. Harrison. 2020. "Postpartum Diet Quality: A Cross-Sectional Analysis from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health" Journal of Clinical Medicine 9, no. 2: 446. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020446

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