Nutrient intake of pregnant women at high risk of gestational diabetes

  • Jelena Meinilä The Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa; University of Helsinki
  • Saila B. Koivusalo
  • Anita Valkama
  • Kristiina Rönö
  • Maijaliisa Erkkola
  • Hannu Kautiainen
  • Beata Stach-Lempinen
  • Johan Eriksson
Keywords: Nutrition epidemiology, Maternal nutrition, Diabetes, Pregnancy, Obesity, Diet


Background: The prevalence of gestational diabetes (GDM) has been increasing along with the obesity pandemic. It is associated with pregnancy complications and a risk of type 2 diabetes.

Objective: To study nutrient intake among pregnant Finnish women at increased risk of GDM due to obesity or a history of GDM.

Design: Food records from obese women or women with GDM history (n=394) were examined at baseline (≤20 weeks of pregnancy) of the Finnish Gestational Diabetes Prevention Study.

Results: The pregnant women had a mean fat intake of 33 en% (SD 7), saturated fatty acids (SFA) 12 en% (SD 3), and carbohydrate 46 en% (SD 6). Sucrose intake among pregnant women with GDM history was 7 en% (SD 3), which was different from the intake of the other pregnant women, 10 en% (SD 4) (p<0.001). Median intakes of folate and vitamins A and D provided by food sources were below the Finnish national nutrition recommendation, but, excluding vitamin A, supplements raised the total intake to the recommended level. The frequency of use of dietary supplements among pregnant women was 77%.

Conclusions: The observed excessive intake of SFA and low intake of carbohydrates among women at high risk of GDM may further increase their risk of GDM. A GDM history, however, seems to reduce sucrose intake in a future pregnancy. Pregnant women at high risk of GDM seem to have insufficient intakes of vitamin D and folate from food and thus need supplementation, which most of them already take.

Keywords: nutrition; pregnancy; diabetes; obesity; maternal nutrition; diet

(Published: 19 May 2015)

Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2015, 59: 26676 -


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How to Cite
Meinilä J., Koivusalo S. B., Valkama A., Rönö K., Erkkola M., Kautiainen H., Stach-Lempinen B., & Eriksson J. (2015). Nutrient intake of pregnant women at high risk of gestational diabetes. Food & Nutrition Research, 59.
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