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Assessment of pre-pregnancy dietary intake with a food frequency questionnaire in Alberta women Open Access


Author or creator
Ramage, Stephanie M.
McCargar, Linda J.
Berglund, Casey
Harber, Vicki
Bell, Rhonda C.
Additional contributors
The APrON Study Team
Food Frequency Questionnaire
Diet Assessment
Dietary Intake
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
Purpose: Pre-pregnancy is an under-examined and potentially important time to optimize dietary intake to support fetal growth and development as well as maternal health. The purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which dietary intake reported by non-pregnant women is similar to pre-pregnancy dietary intake reported by pregnant women using the same assessment tool. Methods: The self-administered, semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was adapted from the Canadian version of the Diet History Questionnaire, originally developed by the National Cancer Institute in the United States. Pregnant women (n = 98) completed the FFQ which assessed dietary intake for the year prior to pregnancy. Non-pregnant women (n = 103) completed the same FFQ which assessed dietary intake for the previous year. Energy, macronutrients, and key micronutrients: long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D and iron were examined. Results: Dietary intake between groups; reported with the FFQ; was similar except for saturated fat; trans fat; calcium; and alcohol. Pregnant women reported significantly higher intakes of saturated fat; trans fat; and calcium and lower intake of alcohol in the year prior to pregnancy compared to non-pregnant women who reported intake in the previous year. Conclusions: Despite limitations; a FFQ may be used to assist with retrospective assessment of pre-pregnancy dietary intake.
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Citation for previous publication
Ramage, S. M., McCargar, L. J., Berglund, C., Harber, V., & Bell, R. C. (2015). Assessment of pre-pregnancy dietary intake with a food frequency questionnaire in Alberta women. Nutrients, 7(8), 6155-­6166.


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