So putting aside the question of the multiple births, how much extra should people try to eat when they’re pregnant?
In the US, the Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women eat three meals and two snacks a day. That sounds like plenty until you look at the number of calories recommended: an extra 340 calories a day during the second trimester and 452 calories a day in the third.
That is the equivalent of a normal diet plus two eggs during the middle months of pregnancy and two chocolate digestives plus some garlic bread in the third. It’s hardly eating for two. As the London obstetrician Patrick O’Brien puts it, “You’re eating for one and a bit.
You can hear more Medical Myths on Health Check on the BBC World Service.
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