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P124 Use of HEI-2015 to Evaluate Dietary Quality of Pregnant Women Participating in the WIC Program

      Background

      Healthy Eating Index (HEI) is a useful tool that can be used to assess dietary quality via adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

      Objective

      The aim of this study was to evaluate diet quality of pregnant women participating in the WIC program and to examine possible associations with demographic variables, nutrition knowledge, and key health indicators.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      A cross-sectional study using survey methodology was conducted. Sixty pregnant women between 12 and 24 weeks of gestation and carrying a single fetus were recruited from the WIC program at a community health center.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      Dietary intake was evaluated using two 3-day food records, the first set completed at baseline and the second at follow-up, around 28 weeks of gestation. Food records were analyzed and scored based on HEI-2015. An HEI score above 80 was considered adequate, between 60 and 79.99 average, and below 60 low. Participants’ demographic data and key health indicators, including height and pre-pregnancy weight, were recorded. Nutrition knowledge was assessed. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze data.

      Results

      The mean HEI score of the sample was 59.1 at baseline, and 56.8 at follow-up. There was a significant difference in the distribution of participants’ HEI scores among the 3 HEI categories at both baseline and follow-up (P < .05). Half of the participants had a HEI score below 60 at baseline, while 66.6% were in the low HEI category at follow-up. HEI was negatively correlated with pre-pregnancy BMI (r = −.314, P < .05). The only variable that was predictive of HEI score at both baseline and follow-up was knowledge of anemia (F (3, 47) = 3.84, P < .05).

      Conclusions

      The suboptimal status of the diet of study participants warrants the need for additional dietary counseling for WIC-enrolled pregnant women.
      Funding None.

      Appendix. Supplementary data