Healthy diet could decrease gestational diabetes risk for South Asian women

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IMAGE: This is Sonia Anand, leader of the South Asian Birth Cohort (START) study.
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Credit: McMaster University

Hamilton, ON (Aug. 10, 2017) – South Asian women in Ontario are at high risk for gestational diabetes, but a change in diet and pre-pregnancy weight could make a significant difference, according to a new study from McMaster University.

The research study, called the South Asian Birth Cohort (START), is led by Sonia Anand, professor of medicine at McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and senior scientist at the Population Health Research Institute of Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University.

The study revealed up to one-third of pregnant South Asian women in Ontario develop gestational diabetes. As well, pre-pregnancy weight and low-quality diet accounted for 37 per cent of the risk of gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is an issue as it may cause type 2 diabetes in the mother and baby, and newborns have increased birthweight, higher body fat and lower insulin sensitivity.

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