Mediterranean diet reduces risk for gestational diabetes, maternal weight gain
The authors also concluded that these eating habits did not lower the overall risk for adverse maternal and offspring complications among pregnant women.
“One in four mothers enter pregnancy with preexisting obesity, chronic hypertension, or hyperlipidemia. In addition to complications in pregnancy, these mothers and their babies are at long-term risk of diabetes and cardiovascular complications,” Bassel Al Wattar MD, of the Barts Research Centre for Women’s Health at the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and colleagues wrote.
“No clear dietary recommendations have emerged to improve pregnancy outcomes for women with metabolic risk factors,” they added.
Researchers randomly assigned 1,252 women aged 16 to 40 years and less than 18 weeks pregnant in an approximate 1:1 ratio to receive routine prenatal care alone or prenatal care and details of the Mediterranean-style diet. Among all women, 27% were pregnant for the first time, 60% were of black or Asian ethnicity and 69% were obese.
Al Wattar and colleagues found that the women who received information about the diet gained less gestational weight than those receiving routine care (6.8 kg vs. 8.3 kg; mean adjusted difference = 1.2 kg; 95% CI 2.2 to 0.2). There was also a presumed drop in the odds of gestational diabetes by 35% (adjusted OR = 0.65; 95% CI, 0.47-0.91) but not in other individual components of the composite outcomes. In addition, there were no significant drops in the composite maternal (22.8% vs. 28.6%; aOR = 0.76, 95% CI, 0.56-1.03) or composite offspring (17.3% vs. 20.9%; aOR = 0.79; 95% CI, 0.58-1.08) outcomes.
“The results of [this study] combined with previous evidence show that supplementation of 30 g of mixed nuts per day and extra virgin olive oil can lower gestational weight gain and has strong potential to minimize risk of gestational diabetes,” Al Wattar and colleagues wrote.
“Future studies should assess the effect of in utero exposure to a Mediterranean-style diet on children, particularly to nuts and olive oil, on childhood obesity, allergy, and asthma,” they added. – by Janel Miller
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.