Prenatal, Neonatal, and Maternal Nutrition (DK Tobias and M-F Hivert, Section Editors)

Current Nutrition Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 289-297

First online:

Diet during Pregnancy and Gestational Weight Gain

  • Deirdre TobiasAffiliated withDivision of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolDepartment of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health Email author 
  • , Wei BaoAffiliated withEunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

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Excessive gestational weight gain is associated with a number of health complications for both the mother and offspring. Trends across developed countries indicate an increase in gestational weight gain and a substantial number of women exceeding the recommended amount. Dietary interventions during pregnancy represent an opportunity to minimize excessive weight gain during the gestational period and improve perinatal and postpartum health. Several randomized trials and observational epidemiologic studies have evaluated aspects of maternal diet, such as the macronutrient composition, individual foods and beverages, overall dietary patterns, and caloric restriction with gestational weight gain. This review provides an overview of the current evidence to support the development of pregnancy dietary recommendations for the prevention of excessive gestational weight gain.


Pregnancy Gestational weight gain Diet Nutrition Carbohydrate quality Dietary patterns Weight gain Dietary interventions