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Systematic Review

Ramadan Fasting during Pregnancy and Health Outcomes in Offspring: A Systematic Review

1
Leiden University College, Leiden University, 2595 DG The Hague, The Netherlands
2
Centre for Nutrition, Prevention and Health Services, Department of Quality of Care and Health Economics, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, 3721 MA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
3
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, LUMC-Campus, Leiden University Medical Center, 2511 DP The Hague, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sareen Gropper
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3450; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103450
Received: 2 August 2021 / Revised: 16 September 2021 / Accepted: 26 September 2021 / Published: 29 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Pregnancy and Child)
Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, during which fasting is obligatory for all healthy individuals. Although pregnant women are exempt from this Islamic law, the majority nevertheless choose to fast. This review aims to identify the effects of Ramadan fasting on the offspring of Muslim mothers, particularly on fetal growth, birth indices, cognitive effects and long-term effects. A systematic literature search was conducted until March 2020 in Web of Science, Pubmed, Cochrane Library, Embase and Google Scholar. Studies were evaluated based on a pre-defined quality score ranging from 0 (low quality) to 10 (high quality), and 43 articles were included. The study quality ranged from 2 to 9 with a mean quality score of 5.4. Only 3 studies had a high quality score (>7), of which one found a lower birth weight among fasting women. Few medium quality studies found a significant negative effect on fetal growth or birth indices. The quality of articles that investigated cognitive and long-term effects was poor. The association between Ramadan fasting and health outcomes of offspring is not supported by strong evidence. To further elucidate the effects of Ramadan fasting, larger prospective and retrospective studies with novel designs are needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: fasting; Islam; pregnancy; humans; fetal development; pregnancy outcome; infant; newborn fasting; Islam; pregnancy; humans; fetal development; pregnancy outcome; infant; newborn
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MDPI and ACS Style

Oosterwijk, V.N.L.; Molenaar, J.M.; van Bilsen, L.A.; Kiefte-de Jong, J.C. Ramadan Fasting during Pregnancy and Health Outcomes in Offspring: A Systematic Review. Nutrients 2021, 13, 3450. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103450

AMA Style

Oosterwijk VNL, Molenaar JM, van Bilsen LA, Kiefte-de Jong JC. Ramadan Fasting during Pregnancy and Health Outcomes in Offspring: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2021; 13(10):3450. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103450

Chicago/Turabian Style

Oosterwijk, Violet N.L., Joyce M. Molenaar, Lily A. van Bilsen, and Jessica C. Kiefte-de Jong 2021. "Ramadan Fasting during Pregnancy and Health Outcomes in Offspring: A Systematic Review" Nutrients 13, no. 10: 3450. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103450

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