A junk food diet directly before conception increases the risk of premature birth. That is the conclusion reached by researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia.
A diet rich in fat and sugar, mainly consisting of fast food, is particularly dangerous for women who are going to become mothers. Scientists in Australia have found that such a diet increases the risk of premature birth by 50% compared with a diet consisting of meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. The latter are the most desirable for expectant mothers, as they provide the body with all the necessary nutrients.
It is quite obvious that you need to give up unhealthy habits before conception for the child to get the best start in life. Doctors usually recommend would-be mothers to take folic acid to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. There is also a recommendation to abstain from drinking alcohol.
It is known that unhealthy diet during pregnancy worsens the prospects for both mother and child, but Australian scientists have made sure that the diet before conception also plays a big role. In total, the researchers monitored food preferences of more than 300 residents of South Australia 12 months prior to conception.
The study author Dr. Jessica Grieger says premature birth is a major cause of infant death, and it happens in every 10 pregnancies. The attempt to understand the origins of this problem will be very important in helping mothers and children to increase the chances for babies’ survival and improve their health. The study showed that women who had a diet high in protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains had a significantly smaller risk of premature labor.