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guidelines for fish

FDA Issues New Fish Guidelines for Kids and Pregnant Women

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A new U.S. government guideline classifies fish into three categories of safety to help pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers and parents of young children make healthy choices.

The 62 types of fish and shellfish included in the guideline are sorted into: best choices: eat two to three servings a week; good choices: eat one serving a week; and fish to avoid.

Nearly 90 percent of fish eaten in the United States fall into the best choices category, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Fifty percent of pregnant women eat fewer than 2 ounces of fish a week, which is far less than the recommended amount, the FDA said. Fish offers nutritional benefits important for growth and development during pregnancy and early childhood, the agency said.

The FDA and EPA recommend two to three servings of lower-mercury fish per week, or 8 to 12 ounces total. Twelve ounces is the recommended maximum weekly consumption, according to the new guidelines.

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