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.
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