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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


LACERDA, Elisa Maria de Aquino; KAC, Gilberto; CUNHA, Cynthia Braga da  and  LEAL, Maria do Carmo. Food intake during pregnancy and postpartum according to skin color in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.41, n.6, pp.985-994. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To assess dietary intake during pregnancy and postpartum according to skin color. METHODS: A longitudinal prospective study was carried out comprising 467 postpartum women aged between 15-45 years in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Southeastern Brazil, in 1999-2001. A food frequency questionnaire was administered at two weeks postpartum (intake covering the pregnancy period) and at six months postpartum (intake covering the postpartum period). Analysis of covariance was performed to evaluate differences in food intake among skin color groups, adjusted for educational level. RESULTS: During pregnancy, black and mulatto women had 13.4% and 9.1% higher energy intake (p=0.009 and p=0.028) and 15.1% and 10.5% higher carbohydrate intake (p=0.005 and p=0.014) than white women, respectively. Energy intake of black and white women exceeded the nutritional recommendations by 34% and 20%, respectively (p=0.035). During the postpartum period, black women had 7.7% higher energy intake (p=0.030) and 14.8% higher lipid intake (p=0.008) than white women, as well as 23.8% and 13% higher saturated fatty acids intake than white (p = 0.003) and mulatto (p = 0.046) women, respectively. The adequacy of lipid and saturated fatty acids intake was higher in black (p=0.024) than white women (p=0.011). CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests the need to revise nutritional interventions strategies in the prenatal period, and to implement nutritional guidance programs during the postpartum period in order to adjust food intake to adequate levels, taking into consideration racial differences identified.

Keywords : Food consumption; Pregnancy; Lactation; Ethnic group and health; Longitudinal studies.

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