Advertisement
News

Women urged to limit fatty foods

WASHINGTON — WASHINGTON - The government should encourage women and girls to reduce the amount of meat, whole milk and other fatty foods they eat as a way of protecting themselves and their offspring from dioxins, harmful residues of natural and industrial combustion, an expert panel said yesterday.

The Institute of Medicine, a nonprofit health policy advisory body, recommended that the government do more to educate women and girls about limiting consumption of dioxins, which can be passed through the placenta to a fetus or through breast milk to an infant.

Advertisement

Dioxin has been linked to cancer and other health problems. Since its health dangers were recognized in the 1970s, levels of dioxins and related chemical compounds have dropped, the Environmental Protection Agency said this week. But the pollutants linger in the environment and lodge in the fatty tissue of farm animals that eat grass or contaminated feed.

The most direct way to reduce intake of these chemicals, the expert panel said, is to reduce "consumption of dietary fat, especially from animal sources that are known to contain higher levels of these compounds." Guidelines recommend that these foods be restricted to no more than 10 percent of a person's daily diet.

Advertisement

The panel's chairman, Dr. Robert S. Lawrence, associate dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University, told a news briefing that the test costs make it too expensive to measure the levels in food. So healthier eating was urged while data are collected.


Advertisement