• 1 Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 2 Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
BMJ Open, 2021 05 13;11(5):e046528.
PMID: 33986063 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-046528


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate four foods in women with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) on their agreeability and tolerability.

DESIGN: Prospective, randomised, within-subject cross-over trial.

SETTING: Single-centre, tertiary, university hospital in Malaysia.

PARTICIPANTS: 72 women within 24-hour of first admission for HG who were 18 years or above, with confirmed clinical pregnancy of less than 16 weeks' gestation were recruited and analysed. Women unable to consume food due to extreme symptoms, known taste or swallowing disorder were excluded.

INTERVENTIONS: Each participant chewed and swallowed a small piece of apple, watermelon, cream cracker and white bread in random order and was observed for 10 min after each tasting followed by a 2 min washout for mouth rinsing and data collection.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcome was food agreeability scored after 10 min using an 11-point 0-10 Visual Numerical Rating Scale (VNRS). Nausea was scored at baseline (prior to tasting) and 2 and 10 min using an 11-point VNRS. Intolerant responses of gagging, heaving and vomiting were recorded.

RESULTS: On agreeability scoring, apple (mean±SD 7.2±2.4) ranked highest followed by watermelon (7.0±2.7) and crackers (6.5±2.6), with white bread ranked lowest (6.0±2.7); Kruskal-Wallis H test, p=0.019. Apple had the lowest mean nausea score and mean rank score, while white bread had the highest at both 2 and 10 min; the Kruskal-Wallis H test showed a significant difference only at 10 min (p=0.019) but not at 2 min (p=0.29) in the ranking analyses. The intolerant (gagged, heaved or vomited) response rates within the 10 min study period were apple 3/72 (4%), watermelon 7/72 (10%), crackers 8/72 (11%) and white bread 12/72 (17%): χ2 test for trend p=0.02.

CONCLUSION: Sweet apple had the highest agreeability score, the lowest nausea severity and intolerance-emesis response rate when tasted by women with HG. White bread consistently performed worst.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.