Friday 17 November 2017

Dairy alert for pregnant women

Many pregnant women are not eating a balanced diet and are not getting enough servings of milk, cheese and yogurt in particular, according to a new study.

Women attending their first antenatal visit in the Coombe maternity hospital in Dublin were asked about their eating habits between November 2009 and February 2010.

The food group that they fell down on most was dairy foods, with just five per cent getting the recommended intake of five servings of milk, cheese and yogurt foods per day during pregnancy, the 'Irish Medical Journal' reported.

Women were more likely to meet the target of six or more servings a day of breads, cereals, pasta and rice.

Although 57pc felt that they had a healthy balanced diet, less than half of the pregnant women met the guidelines for each individual food group, said the study, led by the UCD Centre for Human Reproduction at the Coombe and Danone Baby Nutrition.

Women believed that if they limited their intake of high fat and sugary foods, then they were eating well. But they neglected to look at the level of other nutrients they should be getting from eating other foods.

Coombe obstetrician Prof Michael Turner said: "There is emerging evidence that maternal nutrition is key to the future health of not only the mother but also her children. This study shows Irish women have an awareness of healthy eating but need encouragement and support to achieve it."

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