Balanced diet during pregnancy - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Balanced diet during pregnancy may lower risk of preterm delivery

Updated: March 5, 2014 09:58 AM
© iStockphoto.com / Hannes Eichinger © iStockphoto.com / Hannes Eichinger

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Expectant mothers are often told to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and a new study adds to evidence that a healthy diet is linked to a reduced risk of premature birth.

Researchers analyzed data gathered from more than 66,000 pregnant women in Norway between 2002 and 2008. Premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) occurred in slightly more than 5 percent of the pregnancies.

Women who ate a "prudent" diet that included plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and water had a much lower risk of preterm delivery, as did those with a traditional Norwegian diet of boiled potatoes, fish and cooked vegetables, the investigators found.

A Western diet of salty and sweet snacks, white bread, desserts and processed meat products did not seem to have an effect on the risk of premature birth, according to the study, which was published online March 4 in the journal BMJ.

This suggests that increasing consumption of healthy foods is more important than eliminating unhealthy foods, the researchers said. The findings also support advice given to pregnant women to eat a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and water.

However, although the study found an association between eating a healthy diet during pregnancy and a lower risk of preterm delivery, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

The study authors said premature birth can lead to major short- and long-term health problems, and it accounts for nearly 75 percent of all newborn deaths.

Healthy eating during pregnancy is always a good idea, according to an accompanying editorial by Lucilla Poston, of King's College London.

Poston said several studies have suggested that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent premature birth. "[Health professionals] would therefore be well advised to reinforce the message that pregnant women eat a healthy diet," she said.

More information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers tips for a healthy pregnancy.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
3514 State St. Erie, PA 16508
Newsroom: (814)454-8812
Toll Free: 1(800)454-8812
Business offices: (814)454-5201
WICU FCC Filing
WSEE FCC Filing
Share:
Share Stories
Submit your stories to our site!
Share Photos
Share your photos in our community galleries
Mobile:
Mobile Site
Be sure to stay constantly updated with the power of WICU12 and WSEE at your fingertips
Free Android App
Free iPhone App
Free iPad App
Storm Tracker App
Droid
iPhone
iPad
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WICU. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
                   WICU/WSEE - 3514 State Street Erie, PA 16508 - (814) 454-5201 - info@wicu12.com