FNS  Vol.5 No.17 , September 2014
Nutrient Intakes from Food of Lactating Women Do Not Meet Many Dietary Recommendations Important for Infant Development and Maternal Health
Abstract: Literature describing dietary intakes of lactating mothers in the United States (US) is limited and none of the existing studies attempts to identify whether dietary shortcomings of lactating mothers are distinct from those of women of childbearing age in the US. The first objective of this observational study was to comprehensively analyze the dietary intakes of lactating mothers in the US to determine whether nutrient intakes from food were sufficient to meet recommendations. The second objective was to compare these intakes to those of women of childbearing age in the US. Weekly 3-day food records were collected from subjects for six weeks in 2012-2013. Subject mean daily intakes of food groups, macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and specific fats including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids were determined and compared to daily recommendations. Intakes were compared to US women using the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Fruit, vegetable, and dairy intakes of mothers were ≤50% of recommendations, resulting in 12 of 26 analyzed vitamins or minerals including potassium, iodine, chromium, choline, and vitamins A, D, and E having mean daily intakes below the Estimated Average Requirement. Vitamin D intake of subjects was 18% lower than US women, while most other nutrients showed intakes within 10% of each other between populations. Lactating women are not meeting the increased dietary needs associated with breastfeeding, supporting education initiatives and interventions specifically tailored to breastfeeding populations to increase intakes of vitamin D, vitamin E, iodine, biotin, carotenoids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids from food.
Cite this paper: Pratt, N. , Durham, H. and Sherry, C. (2014) Nutrient Intakes from Food of Lactating Women Do Not Meet Many Dietary Recommendations Important for Infant Development and Maternal Health. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 1644-1651. doi: 10.4236/fns.2014.517177.

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