Fried Food Ups Gestational Diabetes Risk

October 17, 2014

Women who consume fried foods more than 7 times a week pre-pregnancy are more likely to have gestational diabetes when they become pregnant.

As if another reason was needed to stop ordering fried chicken with a side of fries, or whatever your favorite fried food may be, researchers have found that gestational diabetes is more likely to develop in women of reproductive age who often eat fried foods.

The association remained even when researchers adjusted for BMI and was most pronounced when women ate fried food away from home. When BMI was accounted for, women with a particular weakness for fried delicacies-meaning those who said they consumed fried foods more than 7 times a week-were 88% more likely to develop gestational diabetes than those who limited fried food consumption to less than once a week.

Key Findings

- Pre-pregnancy diets rich in fried food are associated with gestational diabetes. The association persisted even after researchers adjusted for BMI.

- The finding, however, was only statistically significant when fried foods were prepared outside the home versus part of a home-cooked meal.

Eating fried food at home, however, did not yield the same results. While there was an association between the frequency of fried food consumption at home and gestational diabetes, the finding was not statistically significant.

Researchers looked at 21,078 singleton pregnancies from over 15,000 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study II, but they focused on the pre-pregnancy diets of the women. Participants were surveyed about including fried foods they ate prior to becoming pregnant, with questions aimed at ascertaining how frequently fried foods were eaten both at home and in restaurants.

The researchers concluded that young women should avoid eating fried foods and suggested research is needed to understand the reason behind the association.

The results are published this month in Diabetologia.