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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Energy requirements during pregnancy and consequences of deviations from requirement on fetal outcome

Author
item Butte, Nancy

Submitted to: Nestle Nutrition Workshop
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 22, 2005
Publication Date: November 5, 2005
Citation: Butte, N.F. 2005. Energy requirements during pregnancy and consequences of deviations from requirement on fetal outcome. In: Vevey, S., Karger, A.G., editors. Nestle Nutrition Workshop Series Pediatric Program. Basel, Switzerland: Nestle Ltd. p. 49-71.

Technical Abstract: Energy requirements as defined in the 1985 FAO/WHO/UNU report on Energy and Protein Requirements should support a body size and composition and level of energy expenditure (EE) consistent with good health, and allow for economically necessary and socially desirable physical activity. In pregnancy, extra energy is needed to cover the cost of maternal and fetal tissue accretion, and the rise in EE attributable to basal metabolism and physical activity. Because of uncertainties regarding desirable gestational weight gain (GWG), maternal fat deposition, putative reduction in physical activity and energetic adaptations to pregnancy, controversy remains regarding energy requirements during pregnancy. Dietary energy studies imply that the incremental needs of pregnancy are relatively low. Calorimetric studies have demonstrated energetic adaptations to pregnancy via suppression of basal metabolism and reduction in physical activity. Energy requirements during pregnancy have been based on immediate infant and maternal outcomes; the long-term consequences of inadequate and excess maternal energy intake of fetal growth and development are just now being recognized. The objectives of this chapter are to review: (1) energy requirements during pregnancy; (2) energetic adaptations to pregnancy, and (3) consequences of deviations from maternal energy requirement on fetal outcome.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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