Research Update

September 14, 2023 by

Both a Mediterranean Diet and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Reduced the Percentage of Newborns Born Small for Gestational Age Following High-Risk Pregnancies

Being born small for gestational age is a leading cause of health problems among newborns. Suboptimal nutrition and high stress levels among mothers have been associated with poor fetal growth. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether either a Mediterranean diet or mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR ) among women who had high-risk pregnancies could decrease the percentage of newborns who were born small for gestational age.  Pregnant women participants were randomized to one of three groups: a Mediterranean diet (n = 407); MBSR (n = 407); or usual care (n = 407). The primary outcome of the study was the percentage of newborns who had a birth weight below the 10th percentile.  The results demonstrated that significantly lower percentages of newborns were small for gestational age in the Mediterranean diet (14.0%) and MBSR (15.6%) groups than the usual care group (21.9%).  The authors concluded that both a Mediterranean diet and MBSR may be effective in reducing the percentage of newborns born small for gestational age, but recommended additional studies before these treatments are routinely recommended.

Crovetto F, Crispi F, Casas R; et al. JAMA 2021;326:2150-60.


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