Dietary Pattern and Factors Influencing Dietary Intake among Pregnant Women Consuming Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Diets in Rural South India


  • Christian Medical College, Department of Community Health, Vellore, Tamilnadu, 632 004, India
  • Christian Medical College, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Vellore, Tamilnadu, 632 004, India
  • Christian Medical College, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Vellore, Tamilnadu, 632 004, India
  • Christian Medical College, Department of Clinical Genetics, Vellore, Tamilnadu, 632 004, India


Nutrition is a science that studies food and how food nourishes the body and influences health. A well-balanced nutrient rich maternal diet throughout pregnancy leads to good foetal health and normal birth weight. Maternal nutritional deficiency eventually leads to adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. Hence, this study was undertaken with the objective to assess the dietary pattern and factors influencing dietary habits among pregnant women in Kaniyambadi Block, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India. A Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) and a 24 hour recall method was used among the 120 consecutive multi-gravida pregnant mothers less than 20 weeks of gestation who attended the mobile clinic from the 89 villages of Kaniyambadi Block. Twenty four hours recall assessment showed daily calorie intake of the mothers ranged from 583 to 3532 kcal. The daily mean intake of calcium and B12 were 800 mg and 1.5 mcg respectively. Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) found that all the pregnant women in the study had consumed rice, dal, roots, fats and oils and salt over a one-week period. None of the mothers had consumed alcohol or carbonated drinks. Milk was the only vitamin B12 containing food that was consumed daily. Cultural and religious factors, morning sickness and unavailability of food were found to be the factors influencing dietary intake. Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) and 24 hour recall gave an insight into the dietary habits of rural pregnant women.


24 Hour Recall, Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), Dietary Intake, Pregnancy, Rural, Vitamin B12.

Subject Discipline

Dietetics, pregnancy, nutrition

Full Text:


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