Dietary Variables and Glucose Tolerance in Pregnancy



Publication Details

Tapsell, L. C., Storlien, L. H., Jenkins, A., Calvert, D., Moses, R. G., Wang, Y., Jin, Y. & Pan, J. (2000). Dietary Variables and Glucose Tolerance in Pregnancy. Diabetes Care, 23 (4), 460-464.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate relationships between dietary macronutrient intakes and glucose tolerance in pregnancy RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Nulliparous pregnant Chinese women diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) (n = 56) were compared to age-, gestational age-, height-, and parity-matched groups with normal glucose tolerance (n = 77) and glucose intolerance (IGT) (n = 38) based on the results of an oral glucose tolerance test (National Diabetes Data Group criteria), performed between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. A 24-h recall dietary assessment was also obtained at the time of screening. RESULTS: Subjects with IGT and GDM were significantly heavier (66.1 +/- 1.4 and 68.6 +/- 1.2 kg, respectively, mean +/- SEM) (P < 0.0001) than the normal group (61.2 +/- 1.8 kg) and had a higher BMI. Overall energy intake was similar between groups, as were the intakes of each macronutrient (%kcal). However, there was a highly significant reduction in polyunsaturated fat intake in the IGT and GDM groups whether expressed as %kcal, % of total fat, or fat kcal. This effect was independent of body weight or BMI whether assessed by ordinal logistic regression or by analysis of a weight- and BMI-matched subgroup of the subjects (P = 0.002 for %kcal; n = 47 normal, 26 IGT, and 43 GDM subjects). In logistic regression analysis of the complete data set, increased body weight (P < 0.0001) and decreased polyunsaturated fat intake (P = 0.0014) were both independent predictors of glucose intolerance (IGT and GDM), as were increased body weight and a low dietary polyunsaturated to saturated fat ratio. CONCLUSIONS: Increased polyunsaturated fat intake is associated with a reduced incidence of glucose intolerance during pregnancy. This finding may have major implications for dietary management of women with or at risk of developing GDM.