Diet influences the health of the foetus and the woman during pregnancy and later in life. It is therefore important to investigate pregnant women's food habits. The aim of this study was to describe women's food habits during pregnancy and up to six months post-partum.
A Food Frequency Questionnaire (VIP-FFQ) was distributed to 163 pregnant women on five occasions during and after pregnancy. Data were analysed using Friedman's ANOVA and a Bonferroni post-hoc test.
Food habits in relation to the National Food Agency's (NFA) food index.
The pregnant women's diets were inadequate according to the NFA food index. A tendency towards an even poorer diet after delivery was identified, something which was related to an increased intake of discretionary food, e.g. sweets, cakes, cookies, crisps, ice cream, and decreased intake of fruit and vegetable. The alcohol consumption was low throughout.
The food habits during pregnancy were inadequate compared to recommendations and these habits became unhealthier after delivery. These suggest that dietary counselling needs to be more effective and continued into the lactating period. An increased focus should be given to healthy eating from the life course perspective, not just focus on effects on the foetus and pregnancy outcomes.