Nutrition awareness before and throughout different trimesters in pregnancy: a quantitative study among dutch women.
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OBJECTIVE: To examine the nutrition awareness of women before and during pregnancy in order to provide a greater understanding of the life course perspective (LCP) in relation to nutrition behaviours and pregnancy.
METHOD: Data were collected in a cross-sectional study with the aid of a face-to-face interview, based on our conceptualization of nutrition awareness and the ‘rules of thumb’ designed by the Dutch Nutrition Centre. The sample consisted of five groups each of ~100 Dutch nulliparous women: women not trying to conceive a child, women trying to conceive a child and women in their first, second or third trimesters of pregnancy.
RESULTS: The measurement tool based on our conceptualization of nutrition awareness resulted in a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.84. Pregnant women are significantly more aware of their nutrition than women who are not trying to conceive. The scores on nutrition awareness do not differ significantly between the three trimester groups of pregnant women. Women who are trying to conceive do not have a significantly higher nutrition awareness than women who are not trying to conceive.
CONCLUSIONS: Our conceptualization of nutrition awareness has shown to be fruitful in obtaining a better understanding of behavioural changes in health. The study provided indications in favour of the LCP; pregnancy could indeed be an event in a woman’s life that causes increased nutrition awareness. This should be kept in mind when healthy nutrition promotion activities are being developed.