FDA Says Pregnant Women Should Eat At Least Four Times As Much Seafood As They Currently Do

Draft advice says eat two to three seafood meals a week to maximize benefits

Washington, DC June 10, 2014 New advice from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on a decades worth of progressive, published science, clears the water on outdated seafood guidance for pregnant and breastfeeding women. New moms and moms-to-be are now encouraged to eat two to three servings of seafood each week to help their babies brain develop.

After extensive review of the health effects of eating fish – including consideration of nutrients like omega-3s and selenium in addition to mercury – experts conclude that eating a variety of seafood at least twice each week during pregnancy improves baby brain development. Because pregnant women in the U.S. eat so little seafood each week, most expectant moms should aim to quadruple the amount of fish they eat to meet the newly proposed draft recommendation.

This advice follows three exhaustive reviews of the health effects of eating seafood during pregnancy all of which point to the need for women to eat at least two seafood meals weekly.

“FDA is working to translate years of important nutrition science into updated advice, and thats exciting,” said NFI’s Jennifer McGuire MS, RD. “Expectant moms and health professionals alike have been confused about seafood advice during pregnancy and FDA has begun the process of setting the record straight that fish should be a pregnancy staple.”

The release of this draft advice signals the start of the real hard work making sure the details of the advice line up with the nearly 300 pages of peer-reviewed science that accompany it. And that it is crafted in a way that makes it clear and easy for moms-to-be to understand and act upon it.

“This news begins to mobilize pregnant women to add more fish to their diets,” said McGuire. “It is an important starting point.”

For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members have provided American families with the variety of sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information visit: www.AboutSeafood.com.


Contact Information

Gavin Gibbons
(703) 752-8891