Adherence to the United States department of agriculture dietary recommendations pre- and during the coronavirus disease-19 pandemic among pregnant women in Arab countries
Nasr, Mariane Abou
El Hajj, Mohamad
Seir, Rania Abu
Ismail, Mahmoud Samy
MetadataShow full item record
CitationHoteit, M., Hoteit, R., Al-Jawaldeh, A., Abou Nasr, M., Obeid, S., Fakih, C., ... & Tayyem, R. (2022). Adherence to the United States Department of Agriculture Dietary Recommendations Pre-and During the Coronavirus Disease-19 Pandemic Among Pregnant Women in Arab Countries. Frontiers in Nutrition, 9.
During pregnancy, woman's diet is one of the most preeminent factors affecting mother and child's health. Prior to the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic, inadequate maternal diet and low adherence to dietary guidelines was reported among pregnant women in the Arab countries. Nowadays, COVID-19 infection during pregnancy is widely discussed among literature. However, there is limited data on the health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on non-infected pregnant women. This substantially larger group also suffered significant lifestyle changes during the lockdown period. The aim of the study is to characterize dietary patterns, intake and adherence to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) pregnancy guidelines before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Arab pregnant women. Using a specially designed questionnaire and using the snowball sampling method, the survey was carried out among a convenient sample of 1,939 pregnant women from five Arab countries. Our study found an increment in the consumption of cereals, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats, and nuts that occurred during the pandemic compared to the preceding period. Despite this noticeable increase during the pandemic, the Arab pregnant women in this study had significantly lower adherence to the USDA pregnancy guidelines. The daily consumption of almost all food groups was lower than the USDA's daily recommendations, except for fruits intake, which was higher than the daily standard. Demonstrated poor adherence to prenatal USDA dietary guidelines by Arab pregnant women can lead to numerous deficiencies and health risks among their offspring. In conclusion, our study showed that before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, poor adherence to dietary recommendations occurred in a considerable number of Arab pregnant women. The findings emphasize the need for nutritional education and intervention during prenatal visits.