A diet high in saturated fats and sugars before pregnancy increases the risk of preterm birth by 50% according to the results of a study published in the specialist magazine Journal of Nutrition and presented to the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR ).
Researchers at the University of Adelaide wanted to understand the effects ofmaternal nutrition during the 12 months preceding the pregnancy on the date of delivery and the health of the baby.
Junk food causes premature labor
Scientists tracked the eating habits of 309 women before pregnancy.
The results of their analyzes reveal that a diet containing several sources rich in dietary protein, fruits and whole grain cereals is associated with a reduced likelihood of preterm delivery. On the other hand, a diet composed mainly of saturated fats (industrial dishes, crisps, cakes, etc.) and sugars presents a 50% increased risk of premature delivery.
“If women already have little tendency to follow dietary recommendations during their pregnancies and talking to their doctors about it, they are necessarily not very sensitive to food before pregnancy,” explains Vicki L. Clifton, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, co-author of the study. “However, prenatal malnutrition can permanently alter the biology of children so as to persist into adulthood, increasing the risk of disease and causing premature births”.
” The prematurityis a major cause of complications, illnesses and infant mortality,” recalls the professor. “However, diet is a modifiable risk factor. Healthy eating before and during pregnancy can optimize health outcomes for both mom and baby. It is therefore important that health professionals insist on this point, especially since the number of obese women tends to increase,” concludes Vicki L. Clifton.