With all the pregnancy advice out there, it's hard to know what to believe. But remember, every pregnancy is different, so follow your doctor's orders above anything else.
Myth 1: Eat three healthy meals a day. False. You should be eating six or seven small meals (every two to three hours). "Eating frequently and from various food groups will keep your blood sugar in a constant range, which is healthy for you and your baby," says Dr. Stuart Fischbein, co-author of "Fearless Pregnancy."
Myth 2: You can drink alcohol. True. If you want to toast your sister at her wedding with a glass of bubbly, "go ahead," says Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine. "One glass of wine is not going to hurt the baby," she says. But a glass here and there doesn't mean 10.
Never miss a local story.
Myth 3: Decaf only. False. One small cup of coffee a day is perfectly fine.
Myth 4: Cut out the cheese. True. Well, you don't have to ban all cheeses. Some kinds, such as cheddar and Swiss, are innocuous because they have been pasteurized. It's the soft, unpasteurized products like Brie, feta, and goat cheese that might carry food-borne illnesses.
Myth 5: You're eating for two. False. Pregnancy is not a time to pig out. You certainly have a bit more leeway, but on average, women need only about 300 extra calories a day.
Myth 6: Say so long to seafood. False. Not all fish are created equal. When perusing a menu, go with seafood with lower mercury levels, such as salmon, shrimp, and tilapia. Swordfish and tilefish have the highest levels of mercury and should be skipped.
Myth 7: You'll have to suffer through sickness. False. Many over-the-counter meds are safe during pregnancy, but somehow women believe they need to put up with common maladies. Not so. Consult your OB/GYN.
Individuals who are obese have 30 to 50 percent more chronic medical problems than those who smoke or drink heavily, according to a UCLA study.
Roughly 8 percent of private employer medical claims are a result of problems associated with being overweight or obese, according to policy journal Health Affairs.
The total cost of obesity to U.S. companies is estimated at $13 billion a year, including health insurance costs ($8 billion), sick leave ($2.4 billion), life insurance ($1.8 billion), and disability insurance ($1 billion), according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The percentage of U.S. adults classified as obese roughly doubled between 1980 and 2000, from 15 percent to 31 percent.