Longitudinal dietary trajectories from pregnancy to 3 years post delivery in women with obesity: relationships with adiposity

Kathryn Dalrymple, Christina Vogel, Angela Flynn, Paul Townsend Seed, Keith Godfrey, Lucilla Poston, Hazel M Inskip, Sarah R Crozier

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The study aim was to examine the relationships between longitudinal dietary trajectories from early pregnancy to 3 years post delivery and adiposity measures in women with obesity.


The diets of 1208 women with obesity in the UPBEAT (UK Pregnancy Better Eating and Activity Trial) study were assessed using a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) at 15+0 to 18+6 weeks’ gestation (baseline), 27+0 to 28+6 weeks’ gestation, and 34+0 to 36+0 weeks' gestation, as well as 6 months and 3 years post delivery. Using factor analysis of the baseline FFQ data, four dietary patterns were identified: fruit & vegetable, African/Caribbean, processed, and snacking. The baseline scoring system was applied to the FFQ data at the four subsequent time points. Group-based trajectory modeling was used to extract longitudinal dietary pattern trajectories. Using adjusted regression, associations between dietary trajectories and log-transformed/standardized adiposity measures (BMI and waist and mid-upper arm circumferences) at 3 years post delivery were examined.


Two trajectories were found to best describe the data for the four individual dietary patterns; these were characterized as high and low adherence. A high adherence to the processed pattern was associated with a higher BMI (β = 0.38 [95% CI: 0.06–0.69]) and higher waist (β = 0.35 [0.03–0.67]) and mid-upper arm circumferences (β = 0.36 [0.04–0.67]) at 3 years post delivery.


In women with obesity, a processed dietary pattern across pregnancy and 3 years post delivery is associated with higher adiposity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159-1169
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Early online date6 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


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