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Home Industry News Pregnant teenagers’ poor diet linked to health complications

Pregnant teenagers’ poor diet linked to health complications

26th February 2009

A pregnant teenager’s poor diet may increase to risk of future health complications for their child, research claims.

A study by the charity Tommy’s, published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reveals teenagers’ poor food intake may restrict babies’ growth during pregnancy – a serious problem often associated with stillbirth.

Teenagers are also known to have a worse diet than adults and tend to eat dense, micronutrient-poor foods.

For their study researchers recruited 500 teenagers from London and Manchester and monitored them through their pregnancy, measuring levels of micronutrients in their blood and record what they were eating.

Their results showed teenagers with the lowest dietary intakes of folate and lowest levels in their blood had the greatest risk of having a small baby.

Professor Philip Baker, from Tommy’s research centre at the University of Manchester, said: “Poor nutrition during pregnancy is well known to contribute to adverse pregnancy outcomes.

“It is important to make sure that all women, especially teenagers, are given the information they need to eat healthily during pregnancy.”

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