Sugary beverage and food consumption, and leukocyte telomere length maintenance in pregnant women

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Sep;70(9):1086-8. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2016.93. Epub 2016 Jun 15.


Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) has been inversely associated with sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption in cross-sectional studies, but no studies have examined whether dietary intake influences LTL over time. This study examined longitudinal associations between sugary foods and beverages and LTL. Participants were 65 overweight and obese pregnant women, aged 18-45 years, from a mindfulness intervention study conducted from early pregnancy (⩽16 weeks gestation) and followed through 9 months postpartum. During pregnancy and postpartum, dietary intake was measured with 24-h diet recalls, and LTL was assessed using quantitative PCR. Adjusting for sociodemographic and health characteristics, decreased SSB consumption from baseline to 9 months postpartum was associated with greater concurrent LTL lengthening (β=-0.102, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.192, -0.013). No associations between sugary foods and LTL were found in either period. The finding that reduced SSB consumption is associated with increased LTL warrants investigation in large cohort studies.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Beverages*
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Sugars / adverse effects*
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness
  • Obesity / complications
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Telomere / drug effects*
  • Telomere Homeostasis*
  • Telomere Shortening
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Sugars