Study Suggests Eating Habits Barely Change After Diabetes Diagnosis

Pharmacy Times, December 2021, Volume 87, Issue 12

The investigators analyzed an existing data set from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Fetal Growth Studies, which included surveys on diet and exercise from a diverse patient population at 12 hospital centers across the United States.

Investigators at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that pregnant women made only slight changes to their diet after receiving a gestational diabetes diagnosis.

The investigators analyzed an existing data set from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Fetal Growth Studies, which included surveys on diet and exercise from a diverse patient population at 12 hospital centers across the United States. The analysis on diet included 1371 women, of whom 72 had gestational diabetes. The study team further examined exercise habits among 1875 women, of whom 84 had gestational diabetes.

In the study, women with gestational diabetes cut their daily carbohydrate intake to 48 g primarily by limiting juice consumption by approximately 0.096 L per day. They also decreased their added sugar consumption by approximately 16 mL per day.

Conversely, their consumption of cheese increased by 0.3 cups per day, and artificially sweetened beverages increased by 72 mL per day, according to the NIH.

Further, the team found that women with gestational diabetes did not decrease their consumption of whole fruit or grains, nor did they compensate for the dietary changes by increasing saturated fats. The study authors noted that these observations are reassuring, because complex carbohydrates from whole fruits or grains may be beneficial for gestational diabetes, whereas saturated fats can worsen health outcomes by promoting excessive fetal growth.

Reference

Release: eating habits change only slightly after gestational diabetes diagnosis, NIH study suggests. News release. National Institutes of Health. May 19, 2021. Accessed May 19, 2021. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/newsroom/news/051921-gestational-diabetes