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Postpartum diet quality in Australian women following a gestational diabetes pregnancy


Morrison MK, Koh D, Lowe JM, Miller YD, Marshall AL, Colyvas K, Collins CE. Postpartum diet quality in Australian women following a gestational diabetes pregnancy. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 Oct;66(10):1160-5.


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: To describe the diet quality of a national sample of Australian women with a recent history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and determine factors associated with adherence to national dietary recommendations.

SUBJECTS/METHODS: A postpartum lifestyle survey with 1499 Australian women diagnosed with GDM ≤3 years previously. Diet quality was measured using the Australian recommended food score (ARFS) and weighted by demographic and diabetes management characteristics. Multinominal logistic regression analysis was used to determine the association between diet quality and demographic characteristics, health seeking behaviours and diabetes-related risk factors.

RESULTS: Mean (±s.d.) ARFS was 30.9±8.1 from a possible maximum score of 74. Subscale component scores demonstrated that the nuts/legumes, grains and fruits were the most poorly scored. Factors associated with being in the highest compared with the lowest ARFS quintile included age (odds ratio (OR) 5-year increase=1.40; 95% (confidence interval) CI:1.16-1.68), tertiary education (OR=2.19; 95% CI:1.52-3.17), speaking only English (OR=1.92; 95% CI:1.19-3.08), being sufficiently physically active (OR=2.11; 95% CI:1.46-3.05), returning for postpartum blood glucose testing (OR=1.75; 95% CI:1.23-2.50) and receiving risk reduction advice from a health professional (OR=1.80; 95% CI:1.24-2.60).

CONCLUSIONS: Despite an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, women in this study had an overall poor diet quality as measured by the ARFS. Women with GDM should be targeted for interventions aimed at achieving a postpartum diet consistent with the guidelines for chronic disease prevention. Encouraging women to return for follow-up and providing risk reduction advice may be positive initial steps to improve diet quality, but additional strategies need to be identified.



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