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J Am Diet Assoc. 2001 Aug;101(8):897-902.

Higher carbohydrate intake is associated with decreased incidence of newborn macrosomia in women with gestational diabetes.

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Service de Nutrition, Faculté de Médecine, Lille, France.



To study the influence of energy and macronutrient intake on infant birthweight in women with gestational diabetes mellitus undergoing intensive management.


This prospective study evaluated the impact of intensive management of gestational diabetes on maternal and fetal morbidity, and addressed the relationship between food intake and infant birthweight.


Fifteen maternity hospitals in northern France.


Ninety-nine women with gestational diabetes or gestational mild hyperglycemia diagnosed between 24 and 34 weeks of gestation were surveyed. After 1 was excluded because of a premature birth and 18 were excluded as underreporters, 80 women were included in the final analysis. Diet intake was assessed by a dietary history at the first interview, and by two 3-day diet records at the 3rd and 7th week after diagnosis.


In a forward-stepwise regression analysis (controlling for maternal age; smoking; parity; prepregnancy BMI; pregnancy weight gain; gestational duration; infant sex; fasting and 2-hour postprandial serum glucose; insulin therapy; and energy, fat, protein and carbohydrate intake during treatment) infant birthweight was positively associated with gestational duration (beta = +0.34, P<.002), and negatively with smoking (beta = -0.27, P<.02) and carbohydrate intake (beta = -0.24, P<.03). There were no large-for-gestational-age infants among women whose carbohydrate intake exceeded 210 g/day.


For women with gestational diabetes undergoing intensive management, higher carbohydrate intake is associated with decreased incidence of macrosomia.


These findings suggest that nutrition counseling in gestational diabetes must be directed to maintain a sufficient carbohydrate intake (at least 250 g per day), which implies a low-fat diet to limit energy intake. A careful distribution of carbohydrate throughout the day and the use of low-glycemic index foods may help limit postprandial hyperglycemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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