Background: Inadequate or excessive intake of micronutrients in pregnancy has potential to negatively impact maternal/offspring health outcomes.
Objective: The aim was to compare risks of inadequate or excessive micronutrient intake in diverse females with singleton pregnancies by strata of maternal age, race/ethnicity, education, and prepregnancy BMI.
Methods: Fifteen observational cohorts in the US Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Consortium assessed participant dietary intake with 24-h dietary recalls (n = 1910) or food-frequency questionnaires (n = 7891) from 1999-2019. We compared the distributions of usual intake of 19 micronutrients from food alone (15 cohorts; n = 9801) and food plus dietary supplements (10 cohorts with supplement data; n = 7082) to estimate the proportion with usual daily intakes below their age-specific daily Estimated Average Requirement (EAR), above their Adequate Intake (AI), and above their Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL), overall and within sociodemographic and anthropometric subgroups.
Results: Risk of inadequate intake from food alone ranged from 0% to 87%, depending on the micronutrient and assessment methodology. When dietary supplements were included, some women were below the EAR for vitamin D (20-38%), vitamin E (17-22%), and magnesium (39-41%); some women were above the AI for vitamin K (63-75%), choline (7%), and potassium (37-53%); and some were above the UL for folic acid (32-51%), iron (39-40%), and zinc (19-20%). Highest risks for inadequate intakes were observed among participants with age 14-18 y (6 nutrients), non-White race or Hispanic ethnicity (10 nutrients), less than a high school education (9 nutrients), or obesity (9 nutrients).
Conclusions: Improved diet quality is needed for most pregnant females. Even with dietary supplement use, >20% of participants were at risk of inadequate intake of >= 1 micronutrients, especially in some population subgroups. Pregnancy may be a window of opportunity to address disparities in micronutrient intake that could contribute to intergenerational health inequalities.