You might want to lay off the McDonald’s if you’re looking to get pregnant. A new study published in the medical journal “Human Reproduction” claims women who ate fast food were less likely to conceive and more likely to experience infertility.

Researchers from the University Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute in Australia analyzed the diets of nearly 6,000 women. They found that those who ate fast food four or more times a week took over a month longer to get pregnant than those who didn’t, increasing their risk for infertility from eight to 16 percent. For the purposes of the study, fast food was defined as items bought from chain restaurants, not supermarkets, so the impact of frozen pizza on your pregnancy chances has yet to be determined.

The study also analyzed the impact of fruit consumption on infertility and found nearly opposite results. Those who ate three or more servings of fruit a day increased their chances of pregnancy. Better swap out french fries for apples. Or not, depending on your family-planning desires, though we’re not sure how much we trust the McBirth control method.

Another interesting note: Diets rich in fish and leafy green vegetables had no significant impact on conception times. So go on, eat healthy without worrying how it will impact your reproductive chances!

First study author Jessica Grieger had this to say in a statement: “We recommend that women who want to become pregnant should align their dietary intakes towards national dietary recommendations for pregnancy.” In regards to the study’s methodology of self-reporting, she had this to add, “Given that many women do not change their diet from pre-pregnancy to during pregnancy, we believe that the women’s recall of their diet one month prior to pregnancy is likely to be reasonably accurate.”

One critical factor wasn’t taken into consideration: The diet and overall health of the father wasn’t analyzed. This could definitely have an obvious impact. Since the team behind the study does intend to do further research on the effects of nutrition and dietary patterns on pregnancy, we’re hopeful that more thorough conclusions will be reached in the future.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Jessica is an Associate Editor at Chowhound. Follow her on Twitter @volume_knob for updates on snacks and cats.
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