New health problem: Fetal growth?

The jihad against trans fatty acids (TFAs) gets even weirder.

A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that trans fatty acid intake was “positively associated” with second-, but not first-trimester fetal growth. Oh no! Growing fetuses!

Of course, the researchers never actually measured/weighed any fetuses. They interpolated second trimester bodyweight from birthweight and guess-timated length of gestation. But don’t worry; it’s all very precise.

The researchers go on to conclude:

… the extent to which the TFA-associated increased fetal growth is likely to be harmful or beneficial is unknown. However, because no apparent benefits are associated with the consumption of industrially hydrogenated TFAs, and because higher TFA intakes in nonpregnant adults are associated with health risks, pregnant women should consider avoiding this ingredient. Our findings provide additional support for the effort to ban artificial TFAs in restaurants and to reduce TFAs in the general food supply. [Footnotes omitted]

So TFAs should be banned because some fetuses may (or may not) have grown more during the second trimester of pregnancy.

7 thoughts on “New health problem: Fetal growth?”

  1. I hope they use better equipment than our Ob-Gyn had in their hospital because we were told that our baby would be pushing if not over 10lbs at birth. She was only 8.8lbs. They use some formula using the circumference of the head and waist, along with average baby weights at birth to come up with how much they might weigh. When we questioned the doctor after the C-Section (because my wife was only 105lbs when she got pregnant and would have issues with 10+lb baby) and they explained that the number is a guess at best and is only accurate with the most average of births.

  2. At least they were honest with the fact that it was a guess and 8.8 lb is still above average. It is very often impossible to get good measurements in various situations.

    As for the initial “study”. It’s an embarrassment. Wild extrapolations based on nearly nothing leaving with a “we didn’t prove anything but you should do it anyway” statement that is more appropriate in an animated comedy than a scientific journal.

  3. the extent to which the TFA-associated increased fetal growth is likely to be harmful or beneficial is unknown……… Our findings provide additional support for the effort to ban artificial TFAs in restaurants and to reduce TFAs in the general food supply.

    How can anyone call this science. “We don’t know so therefore we should act???!!!!”

  4. Tom, you’re late to the party. That idioticy was brought up years ago, back when JunkFoodScience was at its peak. Some Brits were talking about how mothers should prevent gaining weight during pregnancy so their babies wouldn’t get fat. Of course, not gaining weight increases miscarraiges, which leads us to what they were really saying: “better dead than fat”.

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