A vegetable, fruit, and white rice dietary pattern during pregnancy is associated with a lower risk of preterm birth and larger birth size in a multiethnic Asian cohort: The Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) cohort study

Ai Ru Chia, Jamie V. De Seymour, Marjorelee Colega, Ling Wei Chen, Yiong Huak Chan, Izzuddin M. Aris, Mya Thway Tint, Phaik Ling Quah, Keith M. Godfrey, Fabian Yap, Seang Mei Saw, Philip N. Baker, Yap Seng Chong, Rob M. Van Dam, Yung Seng Lee, Mary Foong Fong Chong

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56 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Maternal dietary patterns during pregnancy have been shown to influence infant birth outcomes. However, to our knowledge, only a few studies have examined the associations in Asian populations. Objective: We characterized maternal dietary patterns in Asian pregnant women and examined their associations with the risk of preterm birth and offspring birth size. Design: At 26-28 wk of gestation, 24-h recalls and 3-d food diaries were collected from the women in the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes mother-offspring cohort. Dietary patterns were derived from exploratory factor analysis. Gestational age was determined by a dating ultrasound scan in the first trimester, and infant birth anthropometric measurements were obtained from hospital records. Associations were assessed by logistic and linear regressions with adjustment for confounding factors. Results: Three maternal dietary patterns were identified: vegetable, fruit, and white rice (VFR); seafood and noodle (SfN); and pasta, cheese, and processed meat (PCP). Of 923 infants, 7.6% were born preterm, 13.4% were born small for gestational age, and 14.7% were born large for gestational age. A greater adherence to the VFR pattern (per SD increase in VFR score) was associated with a lower risk of preterm births (OR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.50, 0.91), higher ponderal index (b: 0.26 kg/m3 ; 95% CI: 0.06, 0.45 kg/m3), and increased risk of a large-for-gestational-age birth (RR: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.62). No associations were observed for the SfN and PCP patterns in relation to birth outcomes. Conclusions: The VFR pattern is associated with a lower incidence of preterm birth and with larger birth size in an Asian population. The findings related to larger birth size warrant further confirmation in independent studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1416-1423
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Nov 2016


  • Birth weight
  • Dietary patterns
  • Large for gestational age
  • Maternal diet
  • Preterm birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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