Food perceptions and concerns of aboriginal women coping with gestational diabetes in Winnipeg, Manitoba

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2011 Nov-Dec;43(6):482-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2011.05.017.


Objective: To describe how Aboriginal women in an urban setting perceive dietary treatment recommendations associated with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Design: Semi-structured explanatory model interviews explored Aboriginal women's illness experiences with GDM.

Setting and participants: Twenty-nine self-declared Aboriginal women who had received a diagnosis of GDM within the last 5 years in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Main outcome measures: Factors influencing Aboriginal women's prenatal food perceptions with GDM.

Analysis: Thematic analysis was used through coding linkages and matrix queries to assist in identifying and categorizing patterns or relationships.

Results: Participants associated fear, anxiety, and frustration with GDM. Emotional reactions appeared alongside negative relationships with food and other prescribed lifestyle treatments. Collectively, these results suggested that the experience of living with GDM can be overwhelming, as suggested by some of the complex factors influencing women's perceptions and reported behaviors. Discussions indicated many felt socially isolated and had a poor self-image and sense of failure resulting from ineffective GDM management practices.

Conclusions and implications: Future efforts should focus on self-efficacy and security in Aboriginal women's own interpretation of GDM, providing them with the understanding that there is potential for prevention and change.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology
  • Diabetes, Gestational / ethnology*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / psychology*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / psychology*
  • Indians, North American / statistics & numerical data
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Manitoba / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Socioeconomic Factors