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Eating Junk Food Before Getting Pregnant ‘Raises Risk Of Premature Birth’

Do you struggle to keep up-to-date with the seemingly ever-changing advice of what to eat when pregnant? According to a new study in Australia, mothers-to-be need to be saying goodbye to takeaways even before their child is conceived…

The researchers at the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute, found that women with unhealthy junk food diets high in fat and sugar, are 50 per cent more likely to have a premature birth before 37 weeks gestation, compared with women who had a diet high in meat, fish, fruit and vegetables.
The results, published in The Journal of Nutrition, are the first of its kind to assess women's diet prior to conception and its association with outcomes at birth.

Dr Jessica Grieger, Posdoctoral Research Fellow with the Robinson Research Institute, based at the Lyell McEwin Hospital, and lead author said,

‘Diet is an important risk factor that can be modified. It is never too late to make a positive change. We hope our work will help promote a healthy diet before and during pregnancy'

'This will help to reduce the number of neonatal deaths and improve the overall health of children,' she added.

According to recent statistics, 15 million babies are born prematurely each year globally and boys are more likely to arrive early. A number of factors can cause premature births, including overextertion, smoking during pregnancy, being overweight and medical history. The most common reason is having multiple births. ‘Spontaneous early labour is common with multiple births for no particular reason, but other factors include pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes,’ says Andrew Shennan, professor of obstetrics at Guy's & St Thomas' Hospital, London. ‘A high percentage of multiple births are delivered at 35-37 weeks.’

Did you have a premature birth? Let us know below.

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