Medicine

Fast Food and Fertility

Fast Food and Fertility

A new study of more than 5,000 pregnant women investigates what they ate in the month before they became pregnant and how long it took them to get pregnant after they started trying. The women, who had not had a baby before, were interviewed by research midwives during their first antenatal visit.

Now, a recent Australian study determined that fast food, when consumed regularly, doubles the risks of infertility in women.

Women who ate fast food four or more times a week took almost a month longer to get pregnant than women who never or rarely ate this type of food.

When analyzing the impact of the woman's diet, the risk of infertility increased from 8 percent to 12 percent among those with the lowest intake of fruit, and rose from 8 percent to 16 percent in those who ate fast food four or more times a week. 2204 of the couples that took part in the study became pregnant within a month, while 2204 were deemed infertile, due to taking in excess of a year to conceive. More research is needed to drill down into the effects of specific foods rather than broad groups, and to find a causal relationship between diet and the time it takes to conceive.

"We recommend that women who want to become pregnant should align their dietary intakes towards national dietary recommendations for pregnancy", first author Jessica Grieger said in a statement.

The food may be fast, but it actually can slow down your goal of getting pregnant.

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Still, researchers pointed out a flaw: The study didn't examine how the diet of men can impact fertility.

The average time for all women in the cohort to get pregnant was 2 months. "The message from these studies seems to be that processed foods are bad, and fresh fruit and vegetables are good, for fertility".

These foods included burgers, pizza, fried chicken and chips that were takeouts or consumed at fast food outlets. So, overall fast food consumption might have been underreported, researchers said. The researchers excluded couples who received fertility treatment because of male infertility, and 94 percent of the women received no fertility treatments before conception. In any case, it's not possible to remove the influence of the many other personal, health and lifestyle factors that may contribute to fertility problems.

The study took into account other factors which can increase the risk of infertility, such as body mass index (BMI), maternal age and smoking.

Limitations of the study include the fact that collecting data on pre-pregnancy diet relied on retrospective recall and included a limited range of foods.

Other factors, such as the fathers' food intake, were not taken into consideration, so these can not be dismissed nor confirmed as having an effect.


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