• Xingyi Jin School of Public Health, Southeast University, Nanjing, China



Pregnancy, Nutrient, Depression, Eating Behavior, Diet, Mediation Analysis


Depression can result in changes in eating behavior and decrease the quality of eating. It has been shown that maternal depression during pregnancy can result in malnutrition, which can have adverse effects on the pregnancy and the offspring. There is currently no clear association between depression and diet; (2) Methods: Five hundred and forty-nine pregnant women recruited from Danyang Maternal and Child Health Hospital in Jiangsu Province participated in this study and were administered the Intuitive Eating Scale-2(IES-2), Edinburgh Post-natal Depression Scale (EPDS), Pregnancy Stress Scale (PPS), Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), and Dietary Guidelines Adherence Index for Pregnant Women during Pregnancy (CDGCI-PW). The nutritional software collected dietary records for three consecutive days in mid-pregnancy to calculate dietary intake and nutrients that support energy production. The mediation analyses were conducted using SPSS 24.0 macro PROCESS; (3) Results: The relationship between depressive symptoms during pregnancy and diet quality was moderated primarily by two aspects of eating behavior, “Reliance on Hunger and Satiety Cues” (RHS) and “Body-Food Choice Congruence” (BFC). Depressive symptoms (EPDS scores) showed a negative correlation with RHS, BFC, and RHS, and BFC showed a positive correlation with diet quality, yielding a significant specific indirect effect. the multiple mediation model explained 14.7% of the variance in the diet quality; (4) Conclusions: Individual awareness of depression may influence the causal association between nutrition and depression. This study highlights the important role of eating behaviors during pregnancy in the relationship between depressive symptoms (EPDS scores) and diet quality and provides preliminary evidence for feasible ways pregnant women with depressive symptoms can improve diet quality, promote maternal and child health, and reduce depression.


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