Fast food consumption and gestational diabetes incidence in the SUN project

PLoS One. 2014 Sep 12;9(9):e106627. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106627. eCollection 2014.


Background: Gestational diabetes prevalence is increasing, mostly because obesity among women of reproductive age is continuously escalating. We aimed to investigate the incidence of gestational diabetes according to the consumption of fast food in a cohort of university graduates.

Methods: The prospective dynamic "Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra" (SUN) cohort included data of 3,048 women initially free of diabetes or previous gestational diabetes who reported at least one pregnancy between December 1999 and March 2011. Fast food consumption was assessed through a validated 136-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Fast food was defined as the consumption of hamburgers, sausages, and pizza. Three categories of fast food were established: low (0-3 servings/month), intermediate (>3 servings/month and ≤2 servings/week) and high (>2 servings/week). Non-conditional logistic regression models were used to adjust for potential confounders.

Results: We identified 159 incident cases of gestational diabetes during follow-up. After adjusting for age, baseline body mass index, total energy intake, smoking, physical activity, family history of diabetes, cardiovascular disease/hypertension at baseline, parity, adherence to Mediterranean dietary pattern, alcohol intake, fiber intake, and sugar-sweetened soft drinks consumption, fast food consumption was significantly associated with a higher risk of incident gestational diabetes, with multivariate adjusted OR of 1.31 (95% conficence interval [CI]:0.81-2.13) and 1.86 (95% CI: 1.13-3.06) for the intermediate and high categories, respectively, versus the lowest category of baseline fast food consumption (p for linear trend: 0.007).

Conclusion: Our results suggest that pre-pregnancy higher consumption of fast food is an independent risk factor for gestational diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology*
  • Fast Foods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Spain / epidemiology

Grant support

The SUN Study has received funding from the Spanish Ministry of Health Government (current grants PI10/02658, PI10/02293, RD06/0045, G03/140 and PI13/00615), the Navarra Regional Government (45/2011) and the University of Navarra. AG is supported by a FPU fellowship from the Spanish Government. Funding sources had no role in the design, collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data; in the writing, and in the decision to submit the paper for publication.