Dieting during pregnancy is safe for women and it does not carry risk for the unborn baby, suggested a research review. A team of researchers from Queen Mary, University of London examined the study findings of earlier forty-four studies that involved more than seven thousand women.
They suggested that following a healthy diet and not eating for two during pregnancy, prevent excessive weight gain and reduce the risk of complications. In Europe and America between twenty and forty of women gain more than the recommended weight during pregnancy. Excess weight gain is associated with complications such as diabetes, pre-eclampsia, high blood pressure and premature delivery.
The latest study compared diet, exercise and the combination of two. Advice regarding diet was based on limiting the intake of calories, taking balanced diet and eating foods such as fruit, vegetables, pulses and whole grains. On the basis of this researchers examined how much weight women gained during pregnancy and whether they faced complications.
Dietary advice had the greatest effect with an average reduction in weight was nearly four kg or nearly nine lbs. With exercise the average reduction in weight was just .7 kg or one and half lbs. A combination of diet and exercise led to an average reduction in weight by one kg or more than two lbs.
Women who followed a calorie-controlled diet were less likely to face each of the considered complications. Birth weights of babies were not affected by dieting. The study was funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), and published by The British Medical Journal.
Lead author Dr Shakila Thangaratinam, a consultant obstetrician, stated it is seeing that more and more women who gain excess weight when they are pregnant, both women and their babies are at increased risk of complications. Weight control is difficult but this study shows that by carefully advising women on weight management methods, especially diet, weight gain during pregnancy can be reduced.
She added the study also shows that following a controlled diet has the potential to reduce the risk of a number of pregnancy complications. Women may be concerned that dieting during pregnancy could have a negative impact on their babies. This research is reassuring because it showed that dieting is safe and that the baby’s weight is not affected.