New FDA Guidelines: Pregnant Women Need to Eat More Fish to Help Their Child's IQ

Recent reports show many pregnant women in the United States are not consuming fish in amounts recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In June of 2014, the FDA and the EPA revised their joint Fish Consumption Advice, Questions & Answers to encourage pregnant women, those who may become pregnant, breastfeeding mothers, and young children to eat more fish and to eat a variety of fish from choices that are lower in mercury.

Most of the studies that the FDA and EPA reviewed as part of a developing draft updated guidelines compared levels of fish consumption with the IQ of offspring.

These findings consistently demonstrate that among the women who consumed more fish during pregnancy there were improvements in the child’s IQ – noting that the positive effect extended to verbal as well as overall IQ.

General Guidelines

The key take away:

Eat 8 to 12 ounces of a variety of fish each week from choices that are lower in mercury. The nutritional value of fish is important during growth and development before birth, in early infancy for breastfed infants, and in childhood.

If you have any questions about your pregnancy, call our office and set up an appointment with your doctor. We’ll be happy to talk through any concerns or questions you may have regarding your diet and your baby’s health.

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