Education Is An Important Factor In Helping Pregnant Women Achieve Ideal Diets

Education Is An Important Factor In Helping Pregnant Women Achieve Ideal Diets

A study finds that pregnant women aren’t necessarily eating healthier, just because they’re eating for two.

A study led by Lisa Bodnar of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Public Health looked at the eating habits of 7,500 pregnant women. The women shared their diets during the first three months of their pregnancy and what Bodnar found was that a large percentage of women are not eating healthier.

The study credits lack of education on healthy eating habits during pregnancy as a reason for the inconsistency.

The study classified women’s diets according to the Healthy Eating Index-2010, which measures 12 key aspects of diet quality. The groupings found that white-pregnant women scored higher (had a healthier diet) than Hispanic and black women.

“Nearly one-quarter of white women scored in the highest scoring fifth, compared with 14 percent of Hispanic women and just under 5 percent of black women,” according to MedilinePlus.

Bodnar’s findings led her to emphasize just how important a doctor-led educational session can be for women, especially for those groups who are less likely to have the education available to them.

“Our findings mirror national nutrition and dietary trends. The diet-quality gap among non-pregnant people is thought to be a consequence of many factors, including access to and price of healthy foods, knowledge of a healthy diet, and pressing needs that may take priority over a healthy diet,” said Bodnar, according to MedilinePlus.

She follows her observations with noting that diet, of the many factors experienced by a woman during pregnancy, is one of the few that can be actively monitored and controlled. Therefore, how proper education can impact it should not be overlooked.

Cover image courtesy of GettyImages.