According to a new study published in the American Diabetes Association journal Diabetes Care, women who drink five or more sugar sweetened colas a week have a greater chance of developing gestational diabetes.
According to the study's lead researcher, Dr. Liwei Chen, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Louisiana State University, "previous studies have shown an association with other chronic metabolic problems. This is the first to show an increased risk among pregnant women."
Gestational diabetes, known as glucose intolerance during pregnancy, is one of the most common complications of pregnancy. It increases the chances of lifelong diabetes for the woman and also can have permanent effects on the unborn child, Chen said.
The study, conducted by Chen with researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development concluded that even before conception, women who drink sugar sweetened colas put themselves and their babies at risk.
The researchers mined medical records of 13,475 women from the Nurses' Health Study II and found that women who had more than five servings per week of sugar-sweetened cola beverages had a 22 percent higher risk of gestational diabetes than women who had less than one serving per month.