HealthDay News — High maternal fish intake during pregnancy is associated with elevated risk of rapid growth in infancy, according to a study published online February 15 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Nikos Stratakis, from the University of Crete in Greece, and colleagues examined whether fish intake in pregnancy correlates with offspring growth. Data were included from a multicenter, population-based birth cohort study of singleton deliveries from 1996 to 2011 for 26,184 pregnant women and their children.

The researchers found that, compared to women with lower fish intake, women who ate fish more than three times/week during pregnancy gave birth to offspring with higher body mass index values from infancy through middle childhood. Compared with fish intake of once per week or less, high fish intake (more than three times/week) during pregnancy correlated with elevated risk of rapid infant growth (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.22; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.05 to 1.42) and elevated risk of overweight/obesity at 4 years (aOR, 1.14; 95 percent CI, 0.99 to 1.32) and at 6 years (aOR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.47). The effects of high fish intake during pregnancy on rapid infant growth were greater for girls than boys (P = 0.02 for interaction).

“Our findings are in line with the fish intake limit proposed by the US Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency,” the authors write.

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