Fast food delays pregnancy, limits fertility: Study reveals

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Women who avoid fruits and eat lots of fast food take longer time to get pregnant
Women who avoid fruits and eat lots of fast food take longer time to get pregnant

New Delhi : Are you planning to conceive? If so, then you need to cut off the fast food stuffs from your daily diet. A study reveals that women who avoid fruits and eat lots of fast food take longer time to get pregnant and are less likely to conceive within a year.

A journal on Human Reproduction states that nearly no-fruit diet compared to one loaded with three or more pieces per day add about two weeks, on average, to the time of conception.

In contrast, a woman who consumed fast foods such as burgers, pizza and deep-fried chicken four or more times a week compared to those who never or rarely touched the stuff take an extra month to become pregnant.

"These findings show that eating a good quality diet that includes fruits and minimising fast food consumption improves fertility and reduces the time it takes to get pregnant," said lead researcher Claire Robers, a professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

Previously, a research on food and pregnancy has highlighted mostly on the diet of women diagnosed with or undergoing infertility treatment. The impact of mother’s diet before conception among women has received limited scientific attention.

To help fill that breach, Roberts and other researchers in Australia, Britain and New Zealand studied through data gathered through questionnaires by midwives between 2004 and 2011 in all three countries for the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) survey.

The answers given by nearly 5600 women in the early phase of pregnancy focused on what they consumed in the months before conception.

All of the women were first-time mothers, and only 340 had received any kind of fertility treatment before becoming pregnant.

The results indicated a clear connection between the lack of fruit in-take or liking for fast-food on the one hand, and a longer "time-to-pregnancy" and higher risk of infertility, on the other side.

At the boundaries, for example, lots of fast food consumption increased the risk of not becoming pregnant by 41 percent.

"We recommend that women who want to become pregnant should align their dietary intakes toward national dietary recommendations for pregnancy," said lead author Jessica Grieger, a researcher at the University of Adelaide.

The findings were adjusted to take into account the highly adverse impact on fertility of higher maternal age, obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption.