Mums-to-be admit eating disorders

Tags: Diet , Pregnancy

Thought pregnant woman took advantage of their situation by 'eating for two'?

Well perhaps not, as it's emerged some of them are resorting to drastic measures to prevent gaining weight during pregnancy.

A quarter of 700 women were found to be "highly concerned about their weight and shape" following a survey by University College London (UCL)

And alarmingly, two per cent of those said they fasted, exercised excessively, induced vomiting and misused laxatives to avoid gaining weight while pregnant.

One in 12 pregnant women also said they would overeat and lose control of what they were eating twice a week.

The results suggest one in 14 women have an eating disorder during their first three months of pregnancy.

Dr Nadia Micali, from the UCL Institute of Child Health, who led the study, believes there is good evidence from the research that eating disorders in pregnancy can affect both the mother and the developing baby.

She said: "Greater awareness of eating disorders and their symptoms amongst antenatal health care professionals would help to better identify and manage such disorders amongst pregnant women."

The researchers have called for expectant mothers to be tested for eating disorders at their first antenatal check-up.

Copyright Press Association 2013

Ask the expert

Got a question about health or wellbeing?
Our team of medical experts are ready to help.