Due to the increasing age of pregnant women, maternal nutrition management is becoming more important. Since pregnant women are more likely to consume sodium and sugars than nonpregnant women of the same age, we investigated whether maternal nutrition intervention focused on the adjustment of salt and sugar intake can help pregnancy outcome. This randomized controlled trial was performed on 142 pregnant women within 22 weeks of gestational age for at least 16 weeks until childbirth. Subjects were unequally assigned to the intervention group (n = 98) and the control group (n = 44). Dietary changes based on perceived taste preferences were evaluated by 24-hr dietary recall and food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) at pre- and postintervention. In the intervention group, while the intakes of energy, protein, and vitamins were maintained, the intakes of sodium (p < .001) and sugar from processed food (p < .05) were significantly reduced after the intervention. The decreases in salt and sugar consumption were more pronounced in the mothers who had a high preference for saltiness and sweetness. The mean neonatal birth weight of the intervention group was significantly greater than the weight of control group, (3,251.5 ± 402.2 g vs. 2,974.5 ± 294.8 g, p < .05). Through this study, nutrition intervention was found to be effective for the formation of healthy eating habits such as reduced salt and sugar intake in pregnant women especially with a high preference for saltiness and sweetness. Also, such specialized maternal nutrition intervention during pregnancy promotes the birth of healthy newborn babies of normal weight.
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