FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Eating a poor diet is associated with an increased risk of diabetes during pregnancy, a new study finds.
The University of Massachusetts Medical School study found that women who developed diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) were more likely to have poorer diets than women who didn't develop the pregnancy condition.
"Childbearing women in the United States have, on average, poor diet quality. Women with a history of [gestational diabetes] have a significantly lower overall diet quality and reported lower consumption of greens and beans than women without a history of [gestational diabetes]," wrote the study's researchers.
While this study found an association between diet quality and gestational diabetes, it wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship between these factors.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from women who participated in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2010 and found that nearly 8 percent of them developed gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy.
On average, women with a history of gestational diabetes were 2.5 years older than those who never had the condition. They were also more likely to be obese, to be of a race other than white, to have been diagnosed with prediabetes, and to have other health risks for diabetes.
After adjusting for age, education, smoking, and diabetes risk, women with a history of gestational diabetes scored lower on diet quality than those who never had the condition.
The researchers also found that women with a history of gestational diabetes scored lower in consumption of greens and beans, according to the study in Preventing Chronic Disease.
The American Diabetes Association has more about gestational diabetes.