Drinking Soda Before You Conceive Raises Your Risk of Gestational Diabetes

Suzanne Murray

soda cansStop drinking so much soda. That's the message doctors have for women who are trying to get pregnant. The reason? New research shows that drinking more than five servings of sugar-sweetened cola in the week prior to becoming pregnant raises the risk of developing gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes, or glucose intolerance, is a common pregnancy complication that can lead to premature birth. Children whose mothers have gestational diabetes often have higher birth weights and are at higher risk for obesity and diabetes early in life.

In the study of 13,475 women, those who drank more than 5 servings of sugar-sweetened cola a week had a 22 percent greater risk of gestational diabetes than women who drank less than one soda a month. Interestingly, no link was found between gestational diabetes and artificially sweetened drinks, diet cola, and other sugar-sweetened beverages (fruit drinks and other soft drinks).

But Dr. Liwei Chen, author of the study and an assistant professor of epidemiology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, in New Orleans, suggests that women reduce their intake of all sugary beverages. "Women need to be aware of the possible risk not only for their pregnancy but also of the long-term consequences for their babies," she said.

Did you drink a lot of sugary cola before you got pregnant? Did you get gestational diabetes? If you're trying to conceive, does this study make rethink your soda intake?

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