Women who eat the fast food may take longer to get pregnant: Women who overeat junk food are twice as likely to be infertile is the profoundly misleading headline from the Mail Online.
The study it is reporting it did not look at women who could not get pregnant. In fact, it was a study of nearly 6,000 pregnant women.
Women who eat the fast food may take longer to get pregnant
It is questioning what they ate in the month before they are becoming pregnant and how long it takes them to get pregnant after they are starting a try.
The majority of women in the study got pregnant within a couple of months of beginning to try, and the difference in time to conception between those consuming no fast food and those consuming the highest amount was only 2 to 4 weeks.
Fast food consumers were at slightly higher risk of having fertility problems, but this is on a minimal subset of women who are taking longer than 12 months to conceive.
In any case, it is not possible to remove the influence of the many other personal, health and lifestyle factors that may contribute to fertility problems.
It well knows that fast food can be high in saturating and trans fats, sugars and salt, and therefore should eat in moderation.
However, this study did provide convincing evidence that the odd burger and fries will slash your chances of conceiving.
You don’t need to go on a special diet you are trying for a baby. Just make sure you eat a balanced diet, with at least five portions of fruit or vegetables a day.
Where did the study come?
The study is conducting by researchers from the University of Adelaide and Monash University in Australia, and other institutions in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.
The study had multiple sources of funding, including from the NHS, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, University of Manchester Proof of Concept Funding, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, and Tommy’s charity.
It is publishing in the peer-reviewed journal Human Reproduction and is free to read online. Mail Online’s headline sees to have to miss the point of the study. But other UK media sources provide more accurate reports.
Although none of them discussed the study’s limitations, such as the small sample size. They did, however, note that the difference eating fast food made was small.
What kind of research was this?
It was an extensive cohort study of pregnant women, conducted across Australia, Ireland, the UK and New Zealand.
It is looking at whether healthier food, such as fruit and vegetables, or typically unhealthier food, like fast food, can affect the time it takes a woman to become pregnant.
As the researchers said, different female and malefactors have linked with reduces fertility, including smoking, excess alcohol, and obesity, but the effect of specific dietary patterns has not studied much.
The main limitation of this method is that it can not attribute pregnancy outcomes to specific foods because a wide range of personal, health and lifestyle factors are likely to influence a woman’s ability to conceive.
What did the research involve?
The Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints study including 5,258 women in the early stages of their first pregnancy, most of whom 94% conceive without any fertility treatment. Data is collecting by questionnaire between weeks 14 and 16 of pregnancy.
Women were asked to recall their diet in the month immediately before conception. The frequency of eating fast food, fish, fruit and green vegetables was explicitly assessing.
Time taking to get pregnant was assessing by answering Duration of sex without contraception before conception with father of a baby.
Infertility is defining as taking more than 12 months to become pregnant. No further information on causes or actual duration of fertility problems is giving.
Although definitions of infertility can vary, UK guidelines advise that women who have not conceived after a year of regular unprotected sex should be referring for assessment.
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