Fast Food and Fertility

  • Fast Food and Fertility

Fast Food and Fertility

"The findings show that eating a good quality diet that includes fruit and minimizing fast food consumption improves fertility and reduces the time it takes to get pregnant", said lead investigator of the study professor Claire Roberts, a research fellow from the university.

Women who do not eat fruits or have a lot of junk food take longer to get pregnant and have less chances of conceiving within a year, according to a recent study.

Those who reported eating the most fast food and the lowest amount of fruit took two to three weeks longer to get pregnant than those who ate the most fruit and the least fast food, the team reported in the journal Human Reproduction.

Researchers defined infertility as taking more than a year to conceive, a definition that aligns with that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Researchers suspect a link between fast food and a slight delay in getting pregnant.

During the first antenatal visit at around 14-16 weeks' gestation, midwives collected information about the time it took to become pregnant and the women's diet.

The likeliness of becoming infertile rose from 8% to 16% for women who consumed junk food four or more times a week, and 8%-12% for those who neglected their fruit intake. "This new research supports the growing body of evidence that a nutritious diet is one of the most important strategies that a couple can employ to optimise their fertility", said Ms McGrice.

A total of 5,600 women in the early stages of pregnancy focused on their diet in the months before conception.

Detailed answers given by almost 5600 women in the early phase of pregnancy focused on what they ate in the months preceeding conception. The list was detailed and included fresh fruit, leafy green vegetables, specific types of fish, burgers, fried chicken, tacos, pizza and fries. Fast foods eaten at home, for example those bought in supermarkets, were not included in the study.

"With one in six couples now struggling to conceive, many couples are now asking what they can do to optimise their fertility", said fertility dietitian Melanie McGrice at St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne. Importantly, most of the women in the study did not suffer from a history of infertility and the risk relationships were adjusted for BMI, maternal age, smoking and alcohol intake. However, the authors acknowledged that despite the large pool of participants, the fact that women were recalling their diets and the father's diets were not taken into account limits its scope. "However, given that many women do not change their diet from pre-pregnancy to during pregnancy, we believe that the women's recall of their diet one month prior to pregnancy is likely to be reasonably accurate".

The researchers are continuing their work and plan to identify particular dietary patterns, rather than individual food groups, that may be associated with how long it takes women to become pregnant.