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To simulate effects of different scenarios of folic acid fortification of food on dietary folate equivalents (DFE) intake in an ethnically diverse sample of pregnant women.
A forty-four-item FFQ was used to evaluate dietary intake of the population. DFE intakes were estimated for different scenarios of food fortification with folic acid: (i) voluntary fortification; (ii) increased voluntary fortification; (iii) simulated bread mandatory fortification; and (iv) simulated grains-and-rice mandatory fortification.
Ethnically and socio-economically diverse cohort of pregnant women in New Zealand.
Pregnant women (n 5664) whose children were born in 2009–2010.
Participants identified their ethnicity as European (56·0 %), Asian (14·2 %), Māori (13·2 %), Pacific (12·8 %) or Others (3·8 %). Bread, breakfast cereals and yeast spread were main food sources of DFE in the two voluntary fortification scenarios. However, for Asian women, green leafy vegetables, bread and breakfast cereals were main contributors of DFE in these scenarios. In descending order, proportions of different ethnic groups in the lowest tertile of DFE intake for the four fortification scenarios were: Asian (39–60 %), Others (41–44 %), European (31–37 %), Pacific (23–26 %) and Māori (23–27 %). In comparisons within each ethnic group across scenarios of food fortification with folic acid, differences were observed only with DFE intake higher in the simulated grains-and-rice mandatory fortification v. other scenarios.
If grain and rice fortification with folic acid was mandatory in New Zealand, DFE intakes would be more evenly distributed among pregnant women of different ethnicities, potentially reducing ethnic group differences in risk of lower folate intakes.
To evaluate the sociodemographic and lifestyle factors associated with insufficient and excessive use of folic acid supplements (FAS) among pregnant women.
A pregnancy cohort to which multinomial logistic regression models were applied to identify factors associated with duration and dose of FAS use.
The Growing Up in New Zealand child study, which enrolled pregnant women whose children were born in 2009–2010.
Pregnant women (n 6822) enrolled into a nationally generalizable cohort.
Ninety-two per cent of pregnant women were not taking FAS according to the national recommendation (4 weeks before until 12 weeks after conception), with 69 % taking insufficient FAS and 57 % extending FAS use past 13 weeks’ gestation. The factors associated with extended use differed from those associated with insufficient use. Consistent with published literature, the relative risks of insufficient use were increased for younger women, those with less education, of non-European ethnicities, unemployed, who smoked cigarettes, whose pregnancy was unplanned or who had older children, or were living in more deprived households. In contrast, the relative risks of extended use were increased for women of higher socio-economic status or for whom this was their first pregnancy and decreased for women of Pacific v. European ethnicity.
In New Zealand, current use of FAS during pregnancy potentially exposes pregnant women and their unborn children to too little or too much folic acid. Further policy development is necessary to reduce current socio-economic inequities in the use of FAS.
Pre-school nutrition-related behaviours influence diet and development of lifelong eating habits. We examined the prevalence and congruence of recommended nutrition-related behaviours (RNB) in home and early childhood education (ECE) services, exploring differences by child and ECE characteristics.
Telephone interviews with mothers. Online survey of ECE managers/head teachers.
Children (n 1181) aged 45 months in the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study.
A mean 5·3 of 8 RNB were followed at home, with statistical differences by gender and ethnic group, but not socio-economic position. ECE services followed a mean 4·8 of 8 RNB, with differences by type of service and health-promotion programme participation. No congruence between adherence at home and in ECE services was found; half of children with high adherence at home attended a service with low adherence. A greater proportion of children in deprived communities attended a service with high adherence, compared with children living in the least deprived communities (20 and 12 %, respectively).
Children, across all socio-economic positions, may not experience RNB at home. ECE settings provide an opportunity to improve or support behaviours learned at home. Targeting of health-promotion programmes in high-deprivation areas has resulted in higher adherence to RNB at these ECE services. The lack of congruence between home and ECE behaviours suggests health-promotion messages may not be effectively communicated to parents/family. Greater support is required across the ECE sector to adhere to RNB and promote wider change that can reach into homes.
To determine adherence to nutritional guidelines by pregnant women in New Zealand and maternal characteristics associated with adherence.
A cohort of the pregnant women enrolled into New Zealand’s new birth cohort study, Growing Up in New Zealand.
Women residing within a North Island region of New Zealand, where one-third of the national population lives.
Pregnant women (n 5664) were interviewed during 2009–2010. An FFQ was administered during the face-to-face interview.
The recommended daily number of servings of vegetables and fruit (≥6) were met by 25 % of the women; of breads and cereals (≥6) by 26 %; of milk and milk products (≥3) by 58 %; and of lean meat, meat alternatives and eggs (≥2) by 21 %. One in four women did not meet the recommendations for any food group. Only 3 % met all four food group recommendations. Although adherence to recommendation for the vegetables/fruit group did not vary by ethnicity (P=0·38), it did vary for the breads/cereals, milk/milk products and meat/eggs groups (all P<0·001). Adherence to recommendations for the vegetables/fruit group was higher among older women (P=0·001); for the breads/cereals group was higher for women with previous children (P<0·001) and from lower-income households (P<0·001); and for the meat/eggs group was higher for women with previous children (P=0·003) and from lower-income households (P=0·004).
Most pregnant women in New Zealand do not adhere to nutritional guidelines in pregnancy, with only 3 % meeting the recommendations for all four food groups. Adherence varies more so with ethnicity than with other sociodemographic characteristics.
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