Maternal and Early Postnatal Nutrition and Mental Health of Offspring by Age 5 Years: A Prospective Cohort Study

Children with a low level of postnatal healthy diet had higher levels of both internalizing and externalizing problems. Among this large cohort of mothers and children, early nutritional exposures were independently related to the risk for behavioral and emotional problems in children

Felice N. Jacka; Eivind Ystrom; Anne Lise Brantsaeter; Evalill Karevold; Christine Roth; Margaretha Haugen; Helle Margrete Meltzer; Synnve Schjolberg; Michael Berk

2013

Scholarcy highlights

  • Children with a low level of postnatal healthy diet had higher levels of both internalizing and externalizing problems. Among this large cohort of mothers and children, early nutritional exposures were independently related to the risk for behavioral and emotional problems in children
  • Diet quality is related to the risk for depression and anxiety in adults and adolescents; the possible impact of maternal and early postnatal nutritional exposures on children’s subsequent mental health is unexplored
  • Diet quality was evaluated by dietary pattern extraction and characterized as “healthy” or “unhealthy.” The sample comprised 23,020 eligible women and their children
  • Adjustments were made for variables including sex of the child, maternal depression, maternal and paternal age, maternal educational attainment, household income, maternal smoking before and during pregnancy, mothers’ parental locus of control, and marital status
  • Dr Jacka gratefully acknowledges current and previous grant/research support from the National Health and Medical Research Council; Australian Rotary Health; the Geelong Medical Research Foundation; the Ian Potter Foundation; and the University of Melbourne

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