Who's Eating the Good Stuff?

Study examines the characteristic of pregnant women who eat organic foods and the kinds of food they eat

(RxWiki News) In a recent study, researchers in Norway examined pregnant women's eating habits with regards to organic foods.

The findings, which appear in the journal BMC Public Health, reveal the kind of women who choose organic foods and the types of food that they consume.

Over the last couple decades, demand for organic food has risen dramatically. Between 1990 and 2009, total organic food sales in the United States increased from $1 billion to $24.8 billion. Organic foods sales accounted for about 3.7 percent of all US food and beverage sales in 2009.

As demand in Europe increase as well, Ph.D. student Hanne Torjusen and colleagues wanted to find out how much organic food Norwegian, pregnant women consumed. Using data from 63,561 women who participated in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), the researchers found that nearly one in ten pregnant women eats organic food on a regular basis. The most commonly consumed foods were organic eggs and vegetables.

The study also revealed the characteristics of pregnant women who tend to eat organic foods. Compared to those who did not eat organic food, pregnant consumers of organic food tended to have greater levels of education (more than 4 years of higher education) or low levels of education (less than 12 years total). Many of them had low incomes. Most of these women were either under the age of 25 or over the age of 40. A good deal of them were either students or had a parter who was a student. In addition, pregnant women who consumed organic foods had normal to low body weight, and exercised at least 3 times per week.

According to Torjusen, these findings show that organic food consumption is not necessarily associated with higher levels of education and income. Torjusen recommends that future studies on this topic should look at factors other than education and income.

Review Date: 
January 28, 2011