Eating Fast Food Linked to Fertility Issues

Would-be mums who ate fruit three times a day or more in the month up to conception became pregnant more quickly than those who did not

Women who ate fruit three or more times a day increased chances of becoming pregnant quickly.

For the study, published Friday in the peer-reviewed medical journal Human Reproduction, researchers analyzed diets of 5,598 women in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Women who eat fast food-four or more times a week were less likely to conceive within a year and more frequently experience infertility than those who consume a healthy diet, according to a new study. What's more, not eating enough fruit was tied to a 50 percent increase in infertility risk, and eating fruit several times a day appeared to reduce the amount of time it took to conceive.

"We recommend that women who want to become pregnant should align their dietary intakes towards national dietary recommendations for pregnancy", she added in a journal news release.

The results showed a clear link between the avoidance of fruits or a fondness for fast-food fare, on the one hand, and a longer "time-to-pregnancy" or higher risk of infertility, on the other.

Researchers also found an average month-long delay in women who consumed fast food four or more times a week, unlike those who never or rarely ate fast food. The impact of maternal diet before conception among women more generally has received scant scientific attention.

Research into the effects of the maternal diet prior to conception has been hitherto lacking, as past studies have been more concerned with the impact that diet can have on women undergoing treatment for or classed as infertile. This research was carried out in women recruited to the multi-centre Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) study between 2004 and 2011.

The study did not take a look at the reasons why fast food doubles the risk factor for infertility.

The researchers also found that while intake of fruit and fast foods affected time to pregnancy, pre-pregnancy intake of green leafy vegetables or fish did not.

In the US, the government recommends pregnant women eat foods high in vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium, vitamin A and D which can keep the mother and foetus healthy, and prevent birth defects.

Of the total participants, 94 percent conceived without the need for fertility treatment, and 39 percent became pregnant within the month of first trying.

Fast food may affect a woman's fertility.

The researchers are expanding their research to identify particular dietary patterns, rather than individual food groups, to help understand why it takes them longer to become pregnant.

The expert also warned women hoping to fall pregnant against eliminating fruit from their diet in fear of consuming too much sugar. Grieger said, "For any dietary intake assessment, one needs to use some caution regarding whether participant recall is an accurate reflection of dietary intake".

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