Prospective study of pre-gravid sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus

Diabetes Care. 2009 Dec;32(12):2236-41. doi: 10.2337/dc09-0866.


Objective: Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) was related to an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance in several recent studies among middle- or older-aged populations. Studies on SSB consumption and glucose intolerance among pregnant women, however, are lacking. We therefore examined the association between regular SSB consumption before pregnancy and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Research design and methods: This was a prospective study among 13,475 U.S. women who reported at least one singleton pregnancy between 1992 and 2001 in the Nurses' Health Study II. GDM was self-reported and validated by medical record review in a subsample. Cox proportional hazards models with multivariate adjustments were applied to examine the association of SSB consumption with GDM risk.

Results: During 10 years of follow-up, 860 incident GDM case subjects were identified. After adjustment for age, parity, race, physical activity, smoking, alcohol intake, prepregnancy BMI, and Western dietary pattern, intake of sugar-sweetened cola was positively associated with the risk of GDM, whereas no significant association was found for other SSBs and diet beverages. Compared with women who consumed <1 serving/month, those who consumed >or=5 servings/week of sugar-sweetened cola had a 22% greater GDM risk (relative risk 1.22 [95% CI 1.01-1.47]).

Conclusions: Findings from this study suggest that prepregnancy higher consumption of sugar-sweetened cola (>or=5 servings/week) is associated with an elevated GDM risk, whereas no significant association with GDM risk was observed for other SSBs and diet beverages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Beverages* / adverse effects
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sucrose / adverse effects
  • Sucrose / pharmacology*
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Sucrose