Gestational Diabetes and Diet

In collaboration with the Obesity and Diabetes Task Force

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as a glucose intolerance (of any degree), which occurs during pregnancy (B. Metzger et al., 1998). It is estimated that 2-6% of pregnancies in Europe result in GDM and the numbers are much higher in Asia. High maternal weight is associated with a higher risk of GDM. Nutritional advice on GDM aims to control postprandial glucose levels and to provide adequate nutrition for the developing foetus. But as yet, there is still no consensus on the optimal nutritional recommendations for GDM management. The overall aim will be to provide a clear, comprehensive and critical overview of the current knowledge on treatment of GDM via diet.

This activity will assess state-of-the-art nutritional management of GDM by means of a systematic literature review. The focus will be on treatment options via diet and lifestyle based on their effect on selected maternal and fetal outcomes. Maternal outcomes to be included are mean glucose, fasting glucose, post-meal glucose, insulin use, HOMA-IR (HOmeostatic Model Assessment for Insulin Resistance) or any other insulin sensitivity index, HbA1c (Hemoglobin A1c), mode of delivery (number of caesarean sections), pre-eclampsia and weight gain. Fetal / neonatal outcomes included are large-for-gestational-age, small-for-gestational-age, macrosomia, neonatal hypoglycaemia requiring treatment, preterm birth, birthweight and admission to neonatal intensive care unit. Moreover, the activity will identify limitations and gaps in the existing literature. The expert group is collaborating with the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) to ensure a more active uptake of the results by health practitioners.

Expected Output
It is anticipated that such an initiative would support the development of evidence-based recommendations by national and international policy makers. Thereby this activity will contribute to reducing short- and long-term complications for mother and baby.