Eating well and exercising as well as quitting smoking could prevent nearly half of all cases of diabetes during pregnancy, a recent study suggests.
Researchers analyzed the effect of different lifestyle factors on the development of gestational diabetes including factors such as body mass, smoking and physical activity, according to a study published in BMJ.
It was found that the strongest individual risk factor in developing gestational diabetes was being obese prior to the pregnancy. Women who have a BMI that is above 33 were more than four times more likely to develop gestational diabetes compared to women with a normal BMI before pregnancy.
The combination of having all of the risk factors including smoking, inactivity, being overweight and poor diet was evident in an estimated 48 per cent of cases, showing that nearly half the cases of gestational diabetes could be prevented if women changed those lifestyle factors.
For the women who had a combination not smoking, completing regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight were shown to be 41 per cent less likely to develop gestational diabetes compared to other pregnant women.
Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy and, like other types of diabetes, affects how your cells use sugar (glucose.) Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can result in long-term health consequences for both mothers and babies.