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Home Industry News Would-be mums ‘ignoring nutrition advice’

Would-be mums ‘ignoring nutrition advice’

13th February 2009

Essential nutrition and lifestyle advice is bypassing women of child-bearing age, research has claimed.

Scientists at the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre at the University of Southampton examined the degree to which women comply with recommendations before they become pregnant.

Between 1998 and 2002, researchers interviewed 12,445 non-pregnant women aged between 20 and 34 as part of a general survey on health. Information on their diet, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and nutritional supplement use over the past three months was recorded.

A total of 238 women became pregnant within three months of interview. These women were compared with those who did not.

Of those who were impregnated, seven (2.9 per cent) were taking the recommended daily dose of 400ug folic acid and were drinking no more than four units of alcohol per week, compared with 0.66 per cent of those who did not become pregnant.

The authors conclude that their data shows limited evidence of changes in health behaviours before conceiving.

As a result, they have called for greater publicity for recommendations, but point out that substantial unplanned pregnancy rates mean that greater efforts are needed to improve the nutrition and lifestyles of all women of child-bearing age.

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