Predictive factors for nutritional behavior among pregnant women attending antenatal care clinic in 6th of October City


Life-style behavior
Eating habits
Antenatal care.


Background: Good maternal nutrition during pregnancy is important to ensure health for the mother and the fetus. This study aimed to assess nutritional knowledge and behavior among a group of Egyptian pregnant women in addition to identify the factors influencing their nutritional behavior. Methods: This comparative cross sectional study included 300 pregnant women attending the antenatal care clinics in 6th of October University private hospital and El-Hosary primary healthcare (PHC) unit. The data was collected through a modified nutritional survey that was translated from Spanish to Arabic and revised by language experts for clarity.  Results: Almost all of the women attending the private hospital were university educated while about half of the women attending the PHC unit were graduated from technical education. In general, the level of knowledge about food requirements of both groups was satisfactory good; however, neither of them fulfilled the WHO recommendations of food intake during pregnancy or the optimum number of meals per day. The average random blood glucose was higher among the women attending the PHC unit; the BMI, mid arm circumference and subcutaneous fat were higher among the same group as well. In regard to fulfilling the WHO recommended servings per day, only starch and fat items were fulfilled by both groups, whereas the other three items (vegetables, fruits, meat and dairy products) were merely included in the diets of both groups. Conclusion: Healthy behavior among pregnant women in both group were influenced by their educational level, occupation as well as their pre-gestational BMI. Those were the only three significant predictive factors, where women with higher education showed an active lifestyle. In addition, women starting with normal BMI before pregnancy had better healthy behaviors including the choice of healthy diets.


Abd ELaziz A, Madian E, Tawfik H. (2013) Knowledge, Practice and Quality Of Life (QOL) of pregnant women: A comparison between urban and rural populations.

Abd Elaziz K. (2012) Egypt Nutrition Landscape analysis 2012 Country preparedness to accelerate action to improve nutrition.

AbdElaziz SB, Hegazy R. Socioeconomic risk factors of malnutrition among Egyptian children between 6 months and 2 years of age, Cairo, Egypt. J Egypt Public Health Assoc 2012; 87(5 and 6):124-30.

Almurshed KS, Bani IA, Al-Kanhal MA, Al-Amri MA. A study of maternal dietary intake during pregnancy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. J Fam Community Med 2007;14(1):9-13.

Arkkola T, Uusitalo U, Pietikäinen M, Metsälä, Johanna, et al. Dietary intake and use of dietary supplements in relation to demographic variables among pregnant Finnish women. Br J Nutr 2006;96(5):913-20.

Arrish, J, Yeatman H, Williamson M. Midwives and nutrition education during pregnancy: A literature review. Women Birth 2014; 27(1):2-8.

Black RE, Victora CG, Walker SP, Bhutta ZA, et al. Maternal and child undernutrition and overweight in low-income and middle-income countries. Lancet 2013;382(9890):427-51.

Cohen AK, Rai M, Rehkopf DH. Educational attainment and obesity: a systematic review. Obes Rev 2013;14(12):989-1005.

Gilman SE, Breslau J, Subramanian SV, et al. Social factors, psychopathology, and maternal smoking during pregnancy. Am J Public Health 2008; 98(3):448-53.

Goñi L, Martínez H, Santiago N, Cuervo M. et al. Validation of a questionnaire to assess the nutritional status and lifestyles in stages of preconception, pregnancy and lactation. Revista Espanola de Nutricion Comunitaria 2013;19(2):105-113

Hintze J. PASS 11 (2011). Kaysvile, Utah, USA: NCSS, LLC.

IBM Inc (2011). IBM SPSS statistics for windows. Armonk, NY: IBM Inc.

Kavle JA, Landry M. Addressing barriers to maternal nutrition in low- and middle-income countries: A review of the evidence and programme implications. Matern Child Nutr 2018;14(1).

Larrañaga I, et al. Socio-Economic Inequalities in Health, Habits and Self-Care During Pregnancy in Spain. Matern Child Health J 2013;17(7):1315-24.

Lowensohn RI, Stadler DD, Naze C. Current Concepts of Maternal Nutrition. Obstet Gynecol Surv 2016;71(7):413-26.

Kavle J, Mehanna S, Khan G, Hassan M, Saleh G, Galloway R. Cultural Beliefs and Perceptions of Maternal Diet and Weight Gain during Pregnancy and Postpartum Family Planning in Egypt. USAID, 14 April 2014.

Merkx A, Ausems M, Budé L, De Vries R, Nieuwenhuijze MJ. Weight gain in healthy pregnant women in relation to pre-pregnancy BMI, diet and physical activity. Midwifery 2015;31(7):693-701.

Nash DM, Gilliland JA, Evers SE, Wilk P, Campbell MK. Determinants of diet quality in pregnancy: sociodemographic, pregnancy-specific, and food environment influences. J Nutr Educ Behav 2013;45(6):627-34.

Rifas-Shiman SL, Rich-Edwards JW, Kleinman KP, Oken E, Gillman MW. Dietary Quality during Pregnancy Varies by Maternal Characteristics in Project Viva: A US Cohort. J Am Diet Assoc 2009;109(6):1004-11.

da Silva SG, Ricardo LI, Evenson KR, Hallal PC. Leisure-Time Physical Activity in Pregnancy and Maternal-Child Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials and Cohort Studies. Sports Med 2017;47(2):295-317.

Tzotzas T, Vlahavas G, Papadopoulou SK, Kapantais E, Kaklamanou D, Hassapidou M. Marital status and educational level associated to obesity in Greek adults: data from the National Epidemiological Survey. BMC Public Health 2010;10:732.

Ververs MT, Antierens A, Sackl A, Staderini N, Captier V. Which anthropometric indicators identify a pregnant woman as acutely malnourished and predict adverse birth outcomes in the humanitarian context? PLoS Curr 2013;5.