Quick Study

Sugary colas may lead to gestational diabetes; soy foods may reduce cancer rates

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

PREGNANCY

Sugary colas may complicate pregnancy.

THE QUESTION Might sugar-sweetened drinks lead to gestational diabetes?

THIS STUDY analyzed data on 13,475 women who were pregnant in a 10-year span, including 860 who developed gestational diabetes. Women who reported drinking the most sugar-sweetened colas before becoming pregnant (more than five servings a week) were 22 percent more likely to have developed gestational diabetes than were women who drank the fewest sugar-sweetened colas (less than one serving a month). No increased risk was found for drinking other sugar-sweetened beverages or for drinking diet beverages.

WHO MAY BE AFFECTED? Pregnant women. As many as 8 percent of pregnant women in the United States develop gestational diabetes, which occurs when glucose (sugar) levels in the blood become too high. It can cause complications during pregnancy and delivery, including babies that are too large or have respiratory problems, and can contribute to the development of diabetes later in life for both mother and child.

CAVEATS Data came from the women's answers on periodic questionnaires, but information was not collected during pregnancy, when diet changes might have occurred. Nearly all participants were nurses, who might have been healthier than the average person.

FIND THIS STUDY December issue of Diabetes Care.

LEARN MORE ABOUT gestational diabetes at http://www.diabetes.niddk.nih.gov and http://www.acog.org.

-- Linda Searing

The research described in Quick Study comes from credible, peer-reviewed journals. Nonetheless, conclusive evidence about a treatment's effectiveness is rarely found in a single study. Anyone considering changing or beginning treatment of any kind should consult with a physician.


© 2009 The Washington Post Company

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