Abstract

The purpose of this systematic review was to determine the impact of plant-based diets during pregnancy on physical development of a child, beginning in utero, compared to a standard omnivore diet. Peer reviewed articles were retrieved from PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Medical Literature On-line (Medline), American Psychological Association Psychological Information Database (APA PsychINFO), Health Source, and Alternative Healthwatch. Articles that were reviewed were restricted to the last 15 years. Literature reviewed included randomized control trials, observational cohorts, and case series of human subjects within the United States and the United Kingdom. The literature reviewed demonstrated that maternal nutrition has a significant role in long term fetal health and programming. Diet quality and sufficient intake of nutrients has effects on birth outcomes. The literature also made it clear that adequate nutrient intake is dependent on effective nutritional and pregnancy education. In conclusion, the literature themes of fetal programming, nutritional education, and diet quality indicate that well planned plant-based diets could be effective in pregnancy. Further observational and experimental studies need to be done on this topic so that more conclusive data can be collected.

Thesis Completion

2021

Semester

Spring

Thesis Chair

Wharton, Tracy

Co-Chair

Covelli, Maureen

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

College

College of Health Professions and Sciences

Department

Health Sciences

Language

English

Access Status

Campus Access

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Release Date

5-1-2026

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