Study links fast food consumption to infertility

09 May 2018 08:25

A recent study suggests that women with a high weekly fast food consumption are more likely to have trouble conceiving.

A recent study suggests that women with a high weekly fast food consumption are more likely to have trouble conceiving.

A recent study suggests that women with a high weekly fast food consumption and who don't eat enough fruit are more likely to have trouble conceiving.

A survey carried out for Human Reproduction found that women who consume fast food four or more times per week take a month longer on average to conceive than those who rarely or never eat it.

Experts concluded that a good diet can help boost chances of conceiving.

Food survey

As part of the survey, 5,598 women from the UK, New Zealand and Australia had to report on what types of food they ate in the month leading up to the conception of their first child.

They were questioned again when they were between 11 and 14 weeks pregnant on how often they were consuming fruits, vegetables, fish, and deep-fried foods such as burgers or chips.

The researchers found that women who ate fruit less than three times per month took more than a month longer than those who ate it up to three times a day to conceive.

Women with the lowest consumption of fruit were 12% less likely to conceive within the year, researchers added.

Perhaps surprisingly, the research found no link between fertility and the amount of leafy green vegetables or fish consumed.

Study limitations

The study, led by Prof Claire Roberts from the University of Adelaide, Australia, had various limitations, including the fact it relied on women remembering what they had eaten the week before conceiving.

The fathers' diets were not analysed, and, despite it being a large study, only a limited range of food types were included.

Couples were not included if the father was being treated for infertility.

Prof Roberts said: "These findings show that eating a good quality diet that includes fruit and minimising fast food consumption improves fertility and reduces the time it takes to get pregnant."

Dr Gino Pecoraro, a senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland, who was not involved in the research, agreed.

He said: "Generally, the study does support what most health professionals would intuitively believe - having a healthy diet is good for couples trying to conceive."

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