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Can J Diabetes. 2014 Feb;38(1):26-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2013.08.263.

Food choice decision-making by women with gestational diabetes.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Electronic address:
Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.



To enhance the dietary education presented to women with gestational diabetes (GDM) by exploring the reasons and experiences that women with GDM reported in making their food-choice decisions after receipt of dietary education from a healthcare professional.


Food Choice Map (FCM) semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 30 women with GDM living in the Winnipeg area during their pregnancies. Verbatim transcripts were generated from the interviews. A constant comparative method was used to generate common themes to answer research inquiries.


Personal food preferences, hunger and cravings were the main factors affecting food choice decision-making in women with GDM. Although the information from healthcare professionals was 1 factor that affected food choice decision-making for most of the participants, more than half of the women, including all the women who were on insulin, reported difficulties in quick adaptation to dietary management in a limited time period. Information from other sources such as family members, friends, and internet were used to cope with the adaptation. These difficulties led to a sense of decreased control of GDM and were accompanied by frustration, especially for women taking insulin.


Food choice decision-making varied for this group of women with GDM. Knowledge and information aided in making healthy food choices and in portion control. However, balancing individual needs and blood glucose control in a short time period was felt to be difficult and created frustration. The findings suggested that dietary consultation needs to be personalized and to be time sensitive to promote confidence in self-control.


choix alimentaire; diabète gestationnel; food choice; gestational diabetes; grossesse; pregnancy

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