Date Approved

2010

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Health Sciences

Committee Member

Judi Brooks, PhD, RD, Chair

Committee Member

Rubina Haque, PhD, RD

Committee Member

Kyunghee Choi, MS, RD

Abstract

Background: Previous studies suggest many pregnant women are under-consuming fatty fish and are deficient in omega-3 (ω-3) fatty acids.

Background: Previous studies suggest many pregnant women are under-consuming fatty fish and are deficient in omega-3 (ω-3) fatty acids.

Methods: A 10-question survey distributed to expectant mothers via an online survey and via paper form through 3 obstetric clinics over a 2-month period.

Results: Of the 104 participants, 82% consumed less than 2-3 servings of fish per week, and at least 30% were confused about mercury content. Over 60% of doctors did not provide recommendations regarding ω-3 intake. One-third of participants neither consumed the recommended amount of fish nor took an ω-3 supplement. Nearly 98% took an ω-3 supplement when advised by a doctor.

Conclusion: Knowledge regarding the safety and importance of fish consumption and/or ω- 3 fatty acid supplementation during pregnancy is inconsistent. Improved informational standards may be warranted.

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