Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Dietary protein energy supplementation of pregnant Asian mothers at Sorrento, Birmingham. I: Unselective during second and third trimesters.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 285 doi: (Published 28 August 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;285:589
  1. O A Viegas,
  2. P H Scott,
  3. T J Cole,
  4. H N Mansfield,
  5. P Wharton,
  6. B A Wharton


    At Sorrento Maternity Hospital Asian mothers whose babies had grown poorly in utero had anthropometric and biochemical evidence suggesting an inadequate nutritional state. To test this hypothesis further the effect of unselective dietary protein energy supplementation was studied. A total of 153 Asian mothers received one of three supplements from the 18th to 38th weeks of pregnancy: (a) vitamins only--vitamin C 30 mg daily, iron 3 mg daily; (b) energy--42-80 MJ; (10 000-19 000 kcal)/trimester, all from carbohydrate, plus vitamins; (c) protein energy--energy and vitamins as before, but with 5-11% of energy from milk protein. By the 28th week mothers receiving the protein energy supplement had put on more weight and more fat than the vitamin-only group. Neither protein energy nor energy supplementation alone enhanced intrauterine growth. It is concluded that dietary supplementation of all pregnant mothers does not enhance intrauterine growth.