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Appetite. 2010 Dec;55(3):609-15. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2010.09.014. Epub 2010 Sep 30.

Food cravings and intake of sweet foods in healthy pregnancy and mild gestational diabetes mellitus. A prospective study.

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Department of Food Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, United States.


Pregnancy is associated with increased sweet food cravings, but the relationship between sweet cravings and dietary intake remains uncertain. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is glucose intolerance first recognized during pregnancy. GDM may further perpetuate sweet food cravings and intake in pregnancy, although this has not been investigated. This study longitudinally assessed sweet food cravings across pregnancy in women who developed mild GDM (n = 15), normal glucose tolerant pregnant women (NGT; n = 93) and nonpregnant controls (n = 19). Food frequency questionnaires and craving surveys were completed 3 times during pregnancy, and again during postpartum. While 55% of NGT women reported sweet cravings at 24-28 wk; this percentage fell significantly at term. Sweet cravings in these women coincided with higher reported sweet food and beverage intake. Only 40% of GDM women reported sweet cravings at 24-28 wk. However, at 34-38 wk, this subset of GDM women reported twice the frequency of sweet cravings than NGT women (12.1 ± 2.8 times/wk vs. 5.9 ± 1.0 times/wk, respectively). Sweet cravings appear to be a feature of late pregnancy in GDM, but may not threaten dietary adherence in women with mild GDM. Future studies should investigate sweet cravings in women with more severe GDM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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