Complex Guidelines on Eating Fish When Pregnant Mean that Mothers – and Babies – are Missing Out
Caroline Taylor, 10 Oct 17
       

Shutter stock

As soon as women find out they’re pregnant, they are overwhelmed with information about what they can – or more likely can’t – eat and drink. Off the menu go soft cheeses, partially cooked eggs, raw meat, pâté, liver, caffeine, alcohol. It’s a lot to remember.

But the advice on eating fish when pregnant is the by far the most complex. Does it need to be so complicated? What is the actual evidence of the risks and benefits of eating fish for a mother-to-be?

The UK Food Standards Agency, through NHS Choices, gives advice to pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as women planning to become pregnant. It focuses on the consumption of mercury and chemicals known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins in fish and seafood.

The guidelines for women planning to become pregnant and pregnant women include three fish to avoid completely. These are the predatory species, marlin, shark and swordfish. There is also information on limiting intake of other fish, such as fresh and canned tuna.

The guidelines for women who are breastfeeding differ slightly. For them, predatory fish are allowed once a week and there is no limit on canned tuna.

Crucially, the guidance also includes a recommendation to eat at least two portions of fish a week, at least one of which should be oily – important advice that is mentioned only in passing on the NHS Choices web page.

It all adds up to a complicated set of advice. To be able to follow it, women are required to distinguish correctly between different species of fish. They need to be able to identify oily fish and to keep a weekly tally of the number of portions of different species they have eaten.

Sign in to view full article

       
Why Multilingualism is Good For Economic Growth
If your strategy is to trade only with people that speak English that’s going to be a poor strategy.
Gabrielle Hogan-Brun
Mon, 6 Feb 17
Singapore’s Ageing Population, a Challenge for Hospitals and Nurses
The increase in hospital admission and ensuing demands on intensive medical care will trigger the need for more hospital beds: ...
Epoch Newsroom
Mon, 2 Jan 17
Exiled Chinese Billionaire Sheds Light on Regime’s Forced Organ Harvesting
Though associated with communist leaders, Guo Wengui declared his support for persecuted Falun Gong adherents
Leo Timm
Fri, 31 Mar 17
Karl Marx, the Racist
It’s been nearly 100 years since Karl Marx’s ideas triggered the world’s first communist revolution in Russia on March 8, ...
Jack Phillips
Sat, 11 Feb 17
How Robots Can Help Us Embrace a More Human View of Disability
When dealing with the otherness of disability, the Victorians in their shame built huge out-of-sight asylums, and their legacy of ...
Thusha Rajendran
Tue, 9 May 17
An Epoch Times Survey
Advertise with Us
An Epoch Times Survey
BUCHERER
Sports Elements
Sports Elements