Magazine article USA TODAY

Fishy Advice from the FDA and EPA

Magazine article USA TODAY

Fishy Advice from the FDA and EPA

Article excerpt

The Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency have issued updated draft advice on fish consumption, concluding that pregnant and breastfeeding women, those who might become pregnant, and young children should eat more fish that is lower in mercury in order to gain important developmental and health benefits.

Previously, the FDA and EPA recommended maximum amounts of fish that these population groups should consume, but did not promote a minimum amount. Over the past decade, however, emerging science has underscored the importance of appropriate amounts of fish in the diets of these segments of the population.

"For years many women have limited or avoided eating fish during pregnancy or feeding fish to their young children," notes Stephen Ostroff, the FDA's acting chief scientist. "However, limiting or avoiding fish during pregnancy and early childhood can mean missing out on important nutrients that can have a positive impact on growth and development as well as on general health."

An FDA analysis of seafood consumption data from pregnant women in the U.S. found that 21% of them ate no fish in the previous month, and those who ate fish ingested far less than the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends-with 50% eating fewer than two ounces a week, and 75% eating fewer than four ounces a week. …

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