205224 Stress and Nutrition during Pregnancy: Findings from the Los Angeles Mommy and Baby (LAMB) Survey

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Akilah Wise, MSPH , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Eunice Muthengi Karei, MPH, MSW , Department of Community Health Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Angie Denisse Otiniano, MPH , School of Public Health Department of Community Health Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Fathima Wakeel, PhDc , Department of Community Health Sciences, University of California Los Angeles School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Michael C. Lu, MD, MPH , Department of Community Health Sciences and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California Los Angeles School of Public Health and School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
OBJECTIVE: To examine demographic and psychosocial factors associated with skipping meals during pregnancy.

METHODS: We used data from the first wave of 2007 Los Angeles Mommy and Baby (LAMB) Survey. LAMB is a mail sample survey with telephone follow-up for non-respondents based on multistage clustered design. Our preliminary analyses were based on the responses of 1135 women with a live birth in 2007 in Los Angeles County. Skipping meals is a self-report measure of how many times per week the respondent skipped a meal during pregnancy. Stress was measured using Cohen's nine-item perceived stress scale.

RESULTS: One in three women reported skipping meals during pregnancy. About 23% of younger women (ages 14 to 24) and 15% of older women (ages 30 to 40) reported skipping at least 2 to 3 meals per week during pregnancy (P<0.01). Overall, 13% of women experienced stress during pregnancy. More than one-third (37%) of women who experienced stress reported skipping meals, compared to only 15% of those reporting no stress (p<0.001). Stress was associated with 3 times greater odds of skipping meals during pregnancy (OR=3.12, P <0.001), controlling for demographic characteristics. Having a family income below $20,000 increased the odds of skipping 2 or more meals per week by 70% when compared to those with an income between $20,000 and $40,000 (OR=1.79, P<0.05).

DISCUSSION: Skipping meals is more prevalent among younger women. Adjusting for confounders, women from low-income families and women who experience stress during pregnancy are more likely to skip meals during pregnancy.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the importance of maintaining adequate nutrition intake during pregnancy; Discuss the potential consequences of skipping meals during pregnancy for the health of the mother and the baby; Discuss the sociodemographic and psychosocial factors associated with skipping meals during pregnancy.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working with the LAMB dataset for several years and my area of research is maternal and child health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.