Cola and Pregnancy Don't Mix



For women trying to get pregnant, it might be a good idea to lay off the Coke, Pepsi, or any other sugar-sweetened cola. Researchers have found that women who drink more than five servings of sugar-sweetened cola per week have an increased risk for developing gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is glucose intolerance during pregnancy, and it can lead to complications and sickness during the pregnancy and delivery, as well as post-pregnancy type 2 diabetes. Children of moms with GDM are at an increased risk for obesity, glucose intolerance and early onset diabetes.

Dr. Liwei Chen, an assistant professor of epidemiology at LSU Health Sciences Center, collaborated with a number of researchers, including those from Harvard Medical School and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, to conduct the investigation. The study looked at a group of 13,475 women from the Nurses’ Health Study II, and after adjusting for other risk factors such as family history of diabetes, alcohol intake, smoking and prepregnancy weight, determined there was 22 percent greater GDM risk for those that drank more than five servings of sugary colas a week. Chen isn’t sure why the increased risk was found only for those drinking the colas.

“We don’t know why significant association was only found in sugar-sweetened cola, but not other types of sugar-sweetened beverages – fruit drinks, other soft drinks, etc.,” says Dr. Chen, who is the lead author of the study. “One of the explanations could be the tremendous popularity of cola in the US.”

The study results will be published in the upcoming issue of Diabetes Care, and the abstract is available here.

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