Exercise can decrease gestational diabetes risk

Thu, 16 Mar 2006
The links between diet, exercise and diabetes are now commonly known. To avoid developing type 2, and to successfully manage the disease if it develops, it is essential to eat a healthy diet and to exercise regularly. Gestational diabetes is also reliant upon diet and exercise, and a new study has found that those women who are physically active before pregnancy will be less likely to develop diabetes.

Similar smaller studies have already made this link, but the current study ranks as the largest examination of the relationship between physical activity and this aspect of the disease so far. The study was carried out at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

The study involved an enormous study group of 21,765 women who participated in the Nurses Health Study II, and who had had one pregnancy between 1990 and 1998. The researchers identified just over 1400 cases of gestational diabetes. The study relied on the questionnaires filled out by the study group, and the expert analytical skill of the researchers.

The more vigorous the activity, the less likely the pregnant woman was to develop diabetes. The study also linked the amount of television watching per week with the risk of developing gestational diabetes. The importance of physical activity amongst young women has never been clearer; one expert was reported to have said.
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