Pregnancy cravings aside, a new study is advising pregnant women to refrain from eating too much fish. A recent study published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics found that fish intake during pregnancy was linked to an enhanced risk of child obesity. The research, which spanned 11 countries, revealed that pregnant women should not eat more than three servings of fish, to avoid such a risk. The research also showed that pregnant women who ate fish more than three times weekly, also heighten risks of rapid growth within their child, during their first two years of life.
The study’s results go hand-in-hand with Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the Environmental Protection Agency recommendations that encourage women who are pregnant to eat fish, however no more than two or three servings weekly, (which generally amounts to eight to twelve ounces).
While fish should not be entirely avoided by pregnant women, as the food contains important vitamins and minerals for their unborn babies, the study does highly recommend that moms-to-be should follow consumption guidelines.
The study revealed that those pregnant moms that ate more than three servings of fish weekly ended up having children with increased BMI numbers at ages two, four, and six; versus those women who ate less, or the recommended intake guidelines. Higher fish intake during pregnancy was also linked to an enhanced risk of rapid growth from infancy to two years of age. The study also revealed that this effect of fish consumption was increased in girls, compared to boys.
Study author Leda Chatzi, University of Crete stated that fish intake of more than one serving, but less than three weekly did not link to a heightened chance of overweight or obesity issues within children. Chatzi goes on to state that the food is considered an important part of a healthy diet; but is it a complicated exposure.
Chatzi noted that fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are passed on to the placenta, and found to decrease fat deposits by lessening fat cell production. Still, fish is a shared source of human exposure to relentless organic pollutants, which can employ endocrine-disrupting goods, thus contributing to the progression of obesity.
CNN reports that the researchers also note that while information was collected on different fish types that were consumed, there was not sufficient data between cooking procedures, water sources, or fish species. This may have given the research team a chance to look closer at the relationship between environmental pollutants and nutrients, and how they are connected to fish consumption.