Diet and exercise does not prevent gestational diabetes in obese women

10 July 2015

A new study has suggested that diet and exercise can not reduce the risk of gestational diabetes for high-risk, obese pregnant women.

A team at King's College London have published their findings in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

Their work suggests that programmes promoting healthy behaviours in obese women are unlikely to be effective in preventing diabetes. Instead resources should be directed towards better screening and treatment.

The randomised UPBEAT study included over 1,500 women from eight inner-city antenatal services providing care to multi-ethnic populations of generally high socioeconomic deprivation across the UK.

Funded by the National Institute for Health Research, the study placed half of the women into a control group of standard care and advice, while the others were assigned to eight, weekly, health trainer-led sessions. 

Overall, a quarter (26 per cent) of all participants were diagnosed with gestational diabetes but there was no significant difference between the standard and intervention groups. However, the intervention did impact a woman's glycaemic load and fat intake as well as  their level of activity.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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