British Journal of Nutrition

Consensus Statement

Dietary fat intakes for pregnant and lactating women

Berthold Koletzkoa1 c1, Irene Cetina2, J. Thomas Brennaa3 and for the Perinatal Lipid Intake Working Group

a1 Dr. von Hauner Children's Hospital, University of Munich, Germany

a2 Department for the Health of Woman, Child and Neonate, IRCCS Foundation Po.Ma.Re., University of Milan, Italy

a3 Division of Nutritional Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA


Consensus recommendations on behalf of the European Commission research projects Perinatal Lipid Metabolism (PeriLip; and Early Nutrition Programming (EARNEST;, developed jointly with representatives of the Child Health Foundation (Stiftung Kindergesundheit;, the Diabetic Pregnancy Study Group (DPSG;, the European Association of Perinatal Medicine (EAPM;, the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN;, the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Committee on Nutrition (ESPGHAN;, the International Federation of Placenta Associations (IFPA; and the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL; email

Members of the Perinatal Lipid Intake Working Group

Gioia Alvino, Juliana von Berlepsch, Hans Konrad Biesalski, Tom Clandinin, Hildegard Debertina, Tamás Decsi, Hans Demmelmaira, Gernot Desoyebc, Veronika Dietz, Peter Dodds, Pauline Emmett, Fabio Facchinettid, Matthew W. Gillman, Joachim Heinrich, Emilio Herrerab, Irene Hoesli, William C. Heird, Matthew Hyde, Kirsi Laitinen, John Laws, Elvira Larqué Daza, Iliana Lopez-Soldado, Maria Makrides, Kim Fleischer Michaelsene, Sjurdur Olsen, Henar Ortega, Guy Putet, Imogen Rogers, Paola Roggero, Lubos Sobotkaf, Hania Szajewskag, Hope Weiler.

(Representing: aChild Health Foundation, bDPSG, cIFPA, dEAPM, eISSFAL, fESPEN, gESPGHAN.)

Dietary fat intake in pregnancy and lactation affects pregnancy outcomes and child growth, development and health. The European Commission charged the research project PERILIP, jointly with the Early Nutrition Programming Project, to develop recommendations on dietary fat intake in pregnancy and lactation. Literature reviews were performed and a consensus conference held with international experts in the field, including representatives of international scientific associations. The adopted conclusions include: dietary fat intake in pregnancy and lactation (energy%) should be as recommended for the general population; pregnant and lactating women should aim to achieve an average dietary intake of at least 200 mg DHA/d; intakes of up to 1 g/d DHA or 2·7 g/d n-3 long-chain PUFA have been used in randomized clinical trials without significant adverse effects; women of childbearing age should aim to consume one to two portions of sea fish per week, including oily fish; intake of the DHA precursor, α-linolenic acid, is far less effective with regard to DHA deposition in fetal brain than preformed DHA; intake of fish or other sources of long-chain n-3 fatty acids results in a slightly longer pregnancy duration; dietary inadequacies should be screened for during pregnancy and individual counselling be offered if needed.

(Received April 12 2007)

(Revised April 24 2007)

(Accepted April 24 2007)


c1 Corresponding author: Professor Berthold Koletzko, fax +49 89 5160 3336, email


Abbreviations: LC-PUFA, long-chain PUFA