Joint Association of Dietary Protein Intake and Eating Habits with the Risk of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Case-Control Study

Nutrients. 2023 Oct 11;15(20):4332. doi: 10.3390/nu15204332.


Because the associations between different dietary protein sources and the risks of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are inconsistent, and those of eating habits with GDM have rarely been explored, we aimed to investigate the independent and joint association of major dietary protein sources and eating habits with GDM in a case-control study including 353 GDM cases and 718 controls in China. Dietary protein intake and eating habits prior to GDM diagnosis were collected through questionnaires at 24~28 gestational weeks. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate the independent and joint associations of dietary protein intake and eating habits with GDM. The Anderson model was used assess if there is an additive interaction between them. Animal protein, red meat protein and dairy products protein intake were significantly and positively associated with GDM. Among the eating habits, preferences for hot food, firm food and soft food were significantly associated with higher odds of GDM. Individuals with unhealthy eating habits and high dietary protein simultaneously had the highest odds of GDM, and the ORs were 2.06 (1.25, 3.41) for the total protein, 2.97 (1.78, 4.96) for animal meat, 3.98 (2.41, 6.57) for the red meat protein and 2.82 (1.81, 4.41) for the dairy protein; the p values for the trend were all significant (p < 0.001). However, no additive interaction was detected. In conclusion, our study found that dietary protein intake and eating habits prior to GDM diagnosis were both independently and jointly associated with the odds of GDM.

Keywords: case-control study; dietary protein; eating habits; gestational diabetes mellitus.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / diagnosis
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / etiology
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Dietary Proteins / adverse effects
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Meat Proteins
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors


  • Dietary Proteins
  • Meat Proteins