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CBS Local — Could a woman’s diet affect her chances of becoming pregnant? A new study says yes and found that fast food played a major role in preventing the conception of a child.

The Details:

  • A study says eating fast food can increase infertility by 16 percent
  • Diets lacking fruits were also found to hurt the chance of getting pregnant
  • Australian researchers say eating fish and leafy greens are fine for women trying to conceive 

In a study, published in Human Reproduction, Australian researchers have concluded that the amount of fruit and fast food in a diet can significantly affect the time it takes for a woman to become pregnant. “Lower intakes of fruit and higher intakes of fast food were both associated with modest increases in TTP (time to pregnancy) and infertility,” researchers wrote in the May 4 report.

Scientists examined the diets of nearly 5,600 women in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Great Britain to see if what they were eating on a regular basis delayed pregnancy. Dr. Jessica Grieger from the University of Adelaide warned that a diet rich in fast food could increase the risk of infertility by as much as 16 percent.

Women who admitted to eating fast food four times a week took nearly a month longer to get pregnant than patients who rarely or never ate fast food. “We recommend that women who want to become pregnant should align their dietary intakes towards national dietary recommendations for pregnancy,” Grieger said in a press release.

The lack of fruit in a woman’s diet also played factor in pregnancy; with women who ate fruit less than three times a month taking two to three weeks longer to conceive. Researchers listed burgers, pizza, fried chicken, and potato chips as items that were all considered fast food during their experiment. Green leafy vegetables and fish were both found to have no effect on the time it took women to become pregnant.