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Obesity, gestational weight gain, and polyunsaturated fatty acids profile in pregnant Saudi women


Hala Al-Otaibi1,*, Nahed Hussein2, Hani Mustafa3 & Norah Al-Mudaires4



1Department of Food Sciences and Nutrition, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia; 2Faculty of Specific Education, Ain Shams  University, Cairo, Egypt; 3King Abdul Aziz Hospital, National Guard Health Affairs, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia; 4Department of Physical Education, College of Education, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia



Hala Al-Otaibi: hhalotaibi@kfu.edu.sa, Nahed Hussein: dr.nahed.mohamed@sedu.asu.edu.eg, Hani Mustafa: mustafah@ngha.med.sa, and Norah Al-Mudaires: nalmuderes@kfu.edu.sa; *Corresponding author


Article Type

Research Article



Received May 20, 2020; Revised May 25, 2020; Accepted May 26, 2020; Published June 30, 2020



Obesity and excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) are associated with a deficiency of essential fatty acids, affecting maternal health during and after pregnancy. Therefore, it is of interest to identify the associations of pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and GWG with lipid profiles in Saudi women after giving birth. Hence, a cross-sectional study of 238 pregnant women aged 2040 years was conducted at the King Abdul Aziz Hospital, in Al-Ahsa Governorate - Saudi Arabia. Thus, socio-demographic and anthropometric data were collected using a structured questionnaire. Poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), saturated fatty acids (SFAs), and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) levels were assessed from blood samples collected after the women gave birth. The participants generally consumed diets low in omega-3 and omega-6 PUFAs and high in SFAs and MUFAs. Among them, 51% had university degrees, only 20.4% were employed, and 50% had pre-pregnancy overweight/obesity. Women with overweight/obesity had a higher omega-6 to omega-3 PUFA ratio than women with normal weight. Overweight, obesity, and excessive GWG were not associated with higher levels of total n-3 PUFAs, docosahexaenoic acid, and α-linolenic acid but were associated with higher levels of total n-6 PUFAs and linoleic acid. Women with obesity had significantly higher SFA and MUFA levels than women with normal weight, whereas women with excessive GWG were twice as likely to have higher SFA levels than women with adequate GWG. We show that a higher pre-pregnancy BMI and excessive GWG were significantly associated with abnormal lipid profiles in Saudi women after giving birth. We believe that future studies will help explore these associations in detail.



Obesity; Omega-3 PUFAs; Pre-pregnancy BMI; Omega-6 PUFAs



Al-Otaibi et al. Bioinformation 16(6): 493-500 (2020) 


Edited by

P Kangueane






Biomedical Informatics



This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. This is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.