Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are lifelong disabilities and the leading preventable cause of developmental disabilities. Antenatal care providers may influence pregnant women’s dietary practices and their awareness of the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. This study aimed to assess nutritionists’ self‐reported knowledge about the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, professional practices in this respect, and self‐perceived competence to assess and guide women about alcohol consumption during pregnancy in Israel. A sample of 526 professional nutritionists completed an anonymous online questionnaire. Results showed significant differences between the nutritionists’ knowledge and professional practices scores. About 349 (66.3%) of the sample agreed (to any degree) that they did not have enough knowledge to guide pregnant women regarding drinking alcohol. The number of years of experience, combined with self‐perceived competence and the mean knowledge score, explained 18% of the variance in professional practices. Nutritionists and other health professionals may have a crucial role in preventing FASD and should prioritize appropriate screening for prenatal alcohol use. Eliminating alcohol consumption at any point in pregnancy would reduce the risk for FASDs.
- (FASD) fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
- alcohol consumption
- prenatal alcohol exposure
- preventive medicine