Breaking News: FDA & EPA Encourage Pregnant Women and Children to Eat More Fish

Breaking News: FDA & EPA Encourage Pregnant Women and Children to Eat More Fish

Exciting news for the fish community! The FDA & EPA have issued a draft update advice for fish and shellfish consumption. Emerging scientific research has found fish lower in mercury provide important health benefits to not only the general public, but also, expecting and breastfeeding mothers and young children. These women and children should be eating at least 4 TIMES as much fish as they currently do. “For years many women have limited or avoided eating fish during pregnancy or feeding fish to their young children,” said Stephen Ostroff, M.D., the FDA’s acting chief scientist. “But emerging science now tells us that limiting or avoiding fish during pregnancy and early childhood can mean missing out on important nutrients that can have a positive impact on growth and development as well as on general health.” It is now proposed to eat 8-12 ounces a week of a variety of low mercury fish, like tilapia, compared to the past recommendation of 1.8 ounces a week on average.

Click on the link below for further information about the FDA’s changing stance on fish and shellfish. Here is a quick glance at the updated draft advice:

 1. Eat 8-12 ounces of a variety of fish a week. • That’s 2 or 3 servings of fish a week.• For young children, give them 2 or 3 servings of fish a week with the portion right for the child’s age and calorie needs.2. Choose fish lower in mercury. 

• Many of the most commonly eaten fish are lower in mercury.

• These include salmon, shrimp, pollock, tuna (light canned), tilapia, catfish, and cod.

3. Avoid 4 types of fish: tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel. 

• These 4 types of fish are highest in mercury.

• Limit white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces a week.

4. When eating fish you or others have caught from streams, rivers, and lakes, pay attention to fish advisories on those waterbodies. 

• If advice isn’t available, adults should limit such fish to 6 ounces a week and young children to 1 to 3 ounces a week and not eat other fish that week.

5. When adding more fish to your diet, be sure to stay within your calorie needs.