Maternal diet quality during pregnancy is associated with bi
Limited data exist on the association between maternal diet quality during pregnancy and metabolic traits in offspring during early childhood, which is a sensitive period for risk of obesity-related disorders later in life. This study aimed to examine the association of maternal diet quality, as indicated by the Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI), in pregnancy with offspring metabolic biomarkers and body composition at age 4–7 years.

Researchers used data from 761 mother–offspring pairs from the Healthy Start study to examine sex-specific associations of HEI more than 57 vs less than 57 with offspring fasting glucose, leptin, cholesterol, HDL, LDL, percentage fat mass, BMI z score and log-transformed insulin, 1/insulin, HOMA-IR, adiponectin, triacylglycerols, triacylglycerols:HDL, fat mass, and sum of skinfolds. Multivariable linear regression models accounted for maternal race/ethnicity, age, education, smoking habits during pregnancy and physical activity, and child’s age.

-- During pregnancy, mean (SD) HEI score was 55.0 (13.3), and 43.0% had an HEI score more than 57.

-- Among boys, there was an inverse association of maternal HEI with offspring glucose, insulin, HOMA-IR and adiponectin.

-- For instance, maternal HEI more than 57 was associated with lower fasting glucose, and lower concentrations of: insulin by 15.3%, HOMA-IR by 16.3% and adiponectin by 9.3%.

-- Among girls, there was an inverse association of maternal HEI with insulin and a positive association with LDL.

-- However, following covariate adjustment, all estimates among girls were attenuated to the null.

Conclusively, greater compliance with the USA Dietary Guidelines via the HEI may improve the maternal–fetal milieu and decrease susceptibility for poor metabolic health among offspring, particularly boys. Future studies are warranted to confirm these associations and determine the underlying mechanisms.