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Women who consume too much chips, burgers and pizza will delay pregnancy – Study.

A poor diet and lead to a delayed pregnancy.

According to a study published Friday in the journal Human Reproduction, women who eat more fast food take longer to get pregnant than women who include several portions of fruit in their daily diets.

Professor Claire Roberts, Lloyd Cox Professorial Research Fellow, from the University's Robinson Research Institute, who led the study, said: “The 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.”

Having absolutely no fruits compared to a diet which comprises three or more pieces daily added on an average two weeks, to the time taken for conception, added these researchers who quizzed more than 5500 women in Australia, New Zealand, UK and Ireland about their diet.

The results showed a clear link between the avoidance of fruits or a fondness for fast-food fare, on the one hand, and a longer “time-to-pregnancy” or higher risk of infertility, on the other.

At the extremes, for example, lots of fast food as opposed to none at all increased the risk of not becoming pregnant by 41%.

The risk of infertility among the women with the lowest intake of fruit increased from 8% to 12%, while it rose from 8% to 16% for those who ate fast food more than four times a week.

The women had never had a baby before and were interviewed by midwives during their first antenatal visit.

Compared to the first-time-mothers who ate at least three piece of fruit a day in the month before conception, women who ate fruit less than one to three times a month took half a month longer to become pregnant. Similar difficulty in falling pregnant was also found among the women who regularly ate burgers, pizza, fried chicken and chips bought from fast food outlets.

Compared to women who never or rarely ate fast food, women who consumed fast food four or more times a week took nearly a month longer to become pregnant.

The results were adjusted to take into account the potentially adverse impact on fertility of advanced maternal age, obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption.

Previous studies of diet and pregnancy looked at women receiving fertility treatments but the new study was the first to look at diet in the general population.

Previous research found a greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet which includes a higher intake of fruits, vegetables and fish, was associated with fewer couples seeking fertility treatment.

But if their diets are high in foods with high glycemic index and a higher intake of energy from trans fats were associated with an increased risk of ovulatory infertility.

“We recommend that women who want to become pregnant should align their dietary intakes toward national dietary recommendations for pregnancy,” said lead author Jessica Grieger, a researchers at the University of Adelaide.

The results were adjusted to take into account the potentially adverse impact on fertility of advanced maternal age, obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption.

An admitted weakness of the study, the researchers noted, was that they did not collect dietary information from the fathers.

“A recent review on male diet and fertility markers indicated that higher intake of fruits and vegetables was associated with increased sperm motility whereas a higher intake of fat-rich foods and sweets may decrease semen quality,” Grieger and her co-authors wrote.

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