The lifestyles of 91,427 pregnant women in Denmark were analysed for the study
The lifestyles of 91,427 pregnant women in Denmark were analysed for the study

Long-term development of infants in Algeria is at risk unless pregnant women in the country are helped to improve their daily intake of macronutrients and micronutrients.

The lifestyles of 91,427 pregnant women in Denmark were analysed for the study
The lifestyles of 91,427 pregnant women in Denmark were analysed for the study

According to Prof Merzouk Hafida of the University of Algeria, Tlemcen and a Fellow of the Nairobi-based African Academy of Sciences, there is growing evidence that after evaluating the quality of a woman?s diet using the Mediterranean Diet Score (more legumes, grains, fruit, nuts, vegetables, fish, more monounsaturated fat than saturated fat and less dairy, meat, and sweets), the results indicate that pregnant women nutrition is far from the Mediterranean diet in this region.

?During pregnancy, the availability of nutrients to the fetus depends on placental supply and maternal nutrition. Special attention should then be focused on nutrition during pregnancy since maternal under-nutrition or over-nutrition has long-lasting consequences for the health of the infant,? she said.

She said this is important as the quality of nutrition in women during pregnancy and lactation has marked implications on child development and long-term health.

?Our laboratory is engaged in a large national project sponsored by the Ministry of higher education and scientific research, aiming to investigate energy intake and diet composition in pregnant women at Tlemcen (Western Algeria)? she said.

The study population consists of 4870 pregnant women attending the Maternity department of Tlemcen Hospital, Tlemcen, Algeria, during 2010 to 2014.

The study is approved by the Tlemcen Hospital Committee for Research on Human Subjects. Free and informed consent is obtained from each participant of the study. Pregnant mothers with pre-existing pathology (diabetes, obesity, hypertension, infection?.) are excluded.

She said a 24 hour multiple pass recall (MPR) is performed, basically consisting of a quick list of all foods and drinks consumed, a detailed description and a review with the interviewer probing for information on time/occasion, forgotten foods and food details.

This then is followed by accurate details and estimation of consumption by appropriate questions regarding food identification, preparation and ingredients, portion sizes and the use of household implements.

Observations show that protein and carbohydrate intake, expressed as percentages of total energy intake, are low; however, fat intake and saturated fatty acids (SFA) are increased in Algerian pregnant women.

Iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E intakes are also low compared to the recommendations. In addition,

It is clear that all these nutritional abnormalities could have an impact on maternal and neo-nate health and suggests that future interventions that target dietary recommendations may be effective strategies to improve nutrition in pregnant women in Algeria.


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