Impact of Lifestyle Programme on the Occurrence of Gestational Diabetes in Overweight/Obese Pregnant Women

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Topic(s): Nutrition Health & Wellness Obesity Nutrition & Disease Management

Association between Adherence to Lifestyle Interventions and Occurrence of Gestational Diabetes in Overweight/Obese Pregnant Women

High pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) are linked to unfavourable maternal as well as neonatal outcomes. This study published in the journal Maternal and Child Nutrition aimed to investigate the impact of a detailed lifestyle intervention programme on the occurrence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in overweight/obese pregnant women and whether such intervention influenced the adherence to a healthier lifestyle compared to standard care.

This prospective, open-label, randomised controlled trial enrolled pregnant women at 9–12 weeks of pregnancy and a pre-pregnancy BMI ≥25 kg/m2. A total of 191 women were randomised to either the intervention (I) (n=96) or the standard care group (SC) (n=95). The women in the I group received personalised counselling and were prescribed a hypocaloric, low-saturated fat, low-glycaemic diet along with physical activity recommendations. The women in the SC group received general recommendations for healthy diet and physical activity. The women had scheduled follow-ups with the dietitian and gynaecologist at 16, 20, 28 and 36 weeks of pregnancy.

Dietary adherence was greater in the I (57.9%) group compared to the SC (38.7%) group. The incidence of GDM was lesser among women in the I group than in the SC group (18.8% vs. 37.1%). Significantly lower rates of preterm birth, induction of labour, pregnancy-induced hypertension, birth weight >4000 g and large for gestational age babies were observed in the I group.

The study demonstrated that adherence to a personalized, low-glycaemic, low-saturated fat, hypocaloric diet during pregnancy prevents the occurrence of GDM among women with a BMI ≥25 kg/m2. These findings suggest that adherence to a healthy lifestyle can be increased by following a structured, multidisciplinary approach comprising personalized low-glycaemic hypocaloric diet, physical activity motivation, and planned follow up.

News Source: Bruno R, Petrella E, Bertarini V, et al. Adherence to a lifestyle programme in overweight/obese pregnant women and effect on gestational diabetes mellitus: a randomized controlled trial. Maternal & Child Nutrition. 2016; doi: 10.1111/mcn.12333