Healthy Pregnancy Diet Equals Healthier Babies?
Healthy dietary choices made by pregnant women are associated with a reduced risk of birth defects, a new study found. Published online by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, the study found that the quality of a woman’s diet influenced whether her baby was born with defects, including neural tube defects and orofacial clefts.
The authors of the study recognized that folic acid and food fortification have been effective in preventing neural tube defects in the past, but folic acid does not prevent all birth defects.
The data for the study was collected from pregnant women from 10 states who were due between October 1997 and December 2005. Mothers reported their food intake using a questionnaire and 72 percent participated in phone interviews. The researchers developed one quality index based on the Mediterranean Diet and another based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Guide Pyramid.