Examining the relationship between food environment and gestational diabetes

Fonge YN, Jain VD, Harrison C, Brooks M, Sciscione AC

Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM 2020 11;2(4):100204

PMID: 33345920

Abstract

BACKGROUND”>Studies have shown an association between the incidence of gestational diabetes and living in neighborhoods oversaturated with unhealthy foods.</Abstr: Studies have shown an association between the incidence of gestational diabetes and living in neighborhoods oversaturated with unhealthy foods.

OBJECTIVE”>This study sought to determine if the food environment also affects the management of gestational diabetes. We hypothesized that living in areas with a higher quality of food decreased the risk of requiring medication to treat gestational diabetes.</Abstr: This study sought to determine if the food environment also affects the management of gestational diabetes. We hypothesized that living in areas with a higher quality of food decreased the risk of requiring medication to treat gestational diabetes.

STUDY DESIGN”>This was a retrospective cohort study of singleton births at the Christiana Care Health System between 2015 and 2018. Patients with gestational diabetes who live in Delaware (N=1327) were geocoded and classified according to their census tract food environment. The food environment was assessed using the modified Retail Food Environment Index, which measures the percentage of healthy food retailers among all food retailers within a half-mile radius of the census tract boundaries. The modified Retail Food Environment Index scores were divided into 3 categories: poor (modified Retail Food Environment Index score, 0-3), average (modified Retail Food Environment Index score, 4-10), and good or above average (modified Retail Food Environment Index score, ≥11) food environments. The primary outcome was the prevalence of A2 gestational diabetes mellitus. Several neonatal and obstetrical outcomes were also examined including type II diabetes mellitus (defined as a 2-hour glucose tolerance test with at least 1 value above the threshold), cesarean delivery, shoulder dystocia, admission to the neonatal intensive care unit, neonatal hypoglycemia, neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, and macrosomia.</Abstr: This was a retrospective cohort study of singleton births at the Christiana Care Health System between 2015 and 2018. Patients with gestational diabetes who live in Delaware (N=1327) were geocoded and classified according to their census tract food environment. The food environment was assessed using the modified Retail Food Environment Index, which measures the percentage of healthy food retailers among all food retailers within a half-mile radius of the census tract boundaries. The modified Retail Food Environment Index scores were divided into 3 categories: poor (modified Retail Food Environment Index score, 0-3), average (modified Retail Food Environment Index score, 4-10), and good or above average (modified Retail Food Environment Index score, ≥11) food environments. The primary outcome was the prevalence of A2 gestational diabetes mellitus. Several neonatal and obstetrical outcomes were also examined including type II diabetes mellitus (defined as a 2-hour glucose tolerance test with at least 1 value above the threshold), cesarean delivery, shoulder dystocia, admission to the neonatal intensive care unit, neonatal hypoglycemia, neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, and macrosomia.

RESULTS”>A total of 689 (52%) women were diagnosed as having A2 gestational diabetes mellitus. Women in the average or good or above average food environment groups had a lower prevalence of A2 gestational diabetes mellitus than women in the poor food environment group (modified Retail Food Environment Index score, 4-10 [adjusted odds ratio, 0.58; 95% confidence interval, 0.37-0.92] and modified Retail Food Environment Index score, ≥11 [adjusted odds ratio, 0.56; 95% confidence interval, 0.40-0.82]). They also had a lower prevalence of type II diabetes mellitus (modified Retail Food Environment Index score, 4-10 [adjusted odds ratio, 0.25; 95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.72] and modified Retail Food Environment Index score, ≥11 [adjusted odds ratio, 0.48; 95% confidence interval, 0.27-0.86]). There were no differences in the other secondary outcomes of interest.</Abstr: A total of 689 (52%) women were diagnosed as having A2 gestational diabetes mellitus. Women in the average or good or above average food environment groups had a lower prevalence of A2 gestational diabetes mellitus than women in the poor food environment group (modified Retail Food Environment Index score, 4-10 [adjusted odds ratio, 0.58; 95% confidence interval, 0.37-0.92] and modified Retail Food Environment Index score, ≥11 [adjusted odds ratio, 0.56; 95% confidence interval, 0.40-0.82]). They also had a lower prevalence of type II diabetes mellitus (modified Retail Food Environment Index score, 4-10 [adjusted odds ratio, 0.25; 95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.72] and modified Retail Food Environment Index score, ≥11 [adjusted odds ratio, 0.48; 95% confidence interval, 0.27-0.86]). There were no differences in the other secondary outcomes of interest.

CONCLUSION”>The food environment affects the requirement for medication to obtain glycemic levels that are within the target range for those with gestational diabetes.Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.</CopyrightInfo: The food environment affects the requirement for medication to obtain glycemic levels that are within the target range for those with gestational diabetes.

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