Published Papers - Abstract 1108

Gete DG, Waller M & Mishra GD. Pre-pregnancy diet quality and its association with offspring behavioral problems. European Journal of Nutrition, 2020; :

Purpose: The maternal diet has a critical role in epigenetic changes in the fetus, which has been associated with fetal brain tissue development and later onset of behavioral disorder. However, pre-pregnancy diet quality has not been examined in relation to offspring behavioral problems.Methods: 1554 mother-child dyads with mothers from the Australian longitudinal study on women's health (ALSWH) and children from the mothers and their children's health Study (MatCH). The healthy eating index (HEI-2015) score was used to explore maternal diet quality before pregnancy. Childhood total behavioral difficulties, internalizing (emotional and peer) and externalizing problems (hyperactivity and conduct) were assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Multivariable logistic regression was used.Results: 211 children experienced a greater SDQ-score on total behavioral difficulties (13.6%) among the 1554 children. Better pre-pregnancy diet quality was associated with lower odds of offspring total behavioral difficulties after adjustment for potential confounders, highest vs lowest tertile (AOR = 0.52, 95% CI 0.32, 0.85) at p = 0.009. Greater adherence to the HEI-2015 score before pregnancy was also inversely associated with lower odds of offspring externalizing problems (AOR = 0.64, 95% CI 0.43, 0.94). Among the four subscales, hyperactivity and peer problems were negatively associated with better diet quality, (AOR = 0.67, 95% CI 0.47, 0.96) and (AOR = 0.63, 95% CI 0.42, 0.96), respectively.Conclusions: We found that adherence to a diet of better quality in pre-pregnancy was associated with a lower risk of behavioral disorders in the offspring. Large prospective studies are warranted to confirm the findings.

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