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Guidelines Emphasize Eating Seafood for All Americans, Especially Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women

PRESS RELEASE
National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB)
4401 Ford Avenue
Suite 300
Alexandria, VA 22302
MEDIA CONTACT:
Lauren Hassenpflug at (202) 530-4553 or Lauren.Hassenpflug@bm.com

Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Released and Open for Public Comment

July 12, 2010 – Washington, D.C. – The Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, upon which federal agencies will base the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid, was recently released and includes advice to eat more seafood for better heart health in adults and brain development in babies.

Authored by 13 independent experts nationally recognized in the fields of nutrition and health, the comprehensive, evidence-based report came to the following conclusions about eating seafood:

  • On average, Americans of all ages eat too few vegetables, fruits, high-fiber whole grains, low-fat milk and milk products and seafood.
  • Eating seafood twice per week provides about 250mg per day of long-chain n-3 fatty acids and is associated with reduced heart disease death in people with and without prior heart disease.
  • Increasing seafood intake during pregnancy and lactation to least two servings per week is associated with higher omega-3 DHA levels in breast milk and improved infant health outcomes, such as eyesight and brain development.
  • The health benefits derived from eating of a variety of cooked seafood in amounts recommended by the Committee outweigh the risks associated with mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), even among women who may become or who are pregnant, nursing mothers, and children ages 12 and younger.

“The report is a key indicator of the resurgence of fish as an important component to our diets. Regularly eating fish can lead to healthier outcomes for not only mothers and babies, but also for kids and adults of all ages,” said Dr. James McGregor, co-chair of the Perinatal Nutrition Working Group (PNWG), a program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB).

Physicians are encouraged to submit written comments on the report with support for the conclusion statement about the importance of eating fish at least twice a week during pregnancy and breastfeeding to remain simple, affirmative and clear. All comments must be received on July 15, 2010 before 5p.m. EDT. To submit your comment, please visit www.cnpp.usda.gov/DietaryGuidelines.htm.

About PNWG
The PNWG is comprised of top professors of obstetrics, doctors of nutrition and registered dietitians who serve as an evidence-based resource to physicians, organizations and women as they evaluate eating seafood during pregnancy. It is a program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Collation (HMHB), a recognized leader and resource in maternal and child health.

About HMHB
The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) is the only coalition of its kind which acts as a catalyst for change by creating partnerships among community groups, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, businesses and government agencies. The Coalition promotes optimal health for mothers and babies, and works to strengthen families and build healthy communities.