Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes or glucose intolerance that develops during pregnancy in women who do not already have diabetes. This occurs when the body cannot make enough insulin during your pregnancy. During pregnancy, more hormones are produced, and the women gain weight; these changes cause insulin resistance causing gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can predispose a woman to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus after birth. According to CDC, about 50% of women develop type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) after having a history of gestational diabetes (CDC, 2022). Fortunately, some women’s sugar levels go back to normal after birth, and they do not develop type 2 diabetes. The 50-50 outcome raised questions if the diet may be a factor that determines if a woman with gestational diabetes history can develop T2DM. This paper critiques a systemically reviewed article that investigates the association between diet and the developing T2DM in these women.
Identification of research steps
The eight major sections of this study are the abstract, background, goals, methodology, findings, discussion, inference, and references. The issue is identified in the background section, where it is said that there are no recent systematic evaluations that examine the relationship between food and type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes. Additionally, it provides background information on how gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) affects women’s development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM. The purpose of the study is stated in the objective section. A systemic review was conducted to assess the evidence from observational studies on the impact of dietary interventions and the relationship between diet and T2DM outcomes in women with a history of gestational diabetes (D’Arcy et al., 2020). The methods section describes the data collection methods: the databases used to search relevant articles published until May 2019.
Besides, other data collection methods like observational studies and interventions among women are explained here. The results section discusses the findings of the study and analyzes data. The findings are thoroughly discussed in the discussion section, comparing them to available literature (D’Arcy et al., 2020). The conclusion section summarizes the main points, while the references list all article sources used for this study.
Study’s strengths and weaknesses
One of this study’s strengths is the focus on nutrition consumption, which has not been separated from the advantages of exercise in past systematic reviews. The study’s main focus was on a single independent variable to ensure a fair test and precise interpretation of the results. When researchers alter the independent variable, in this example, diet, the observed response is solely attributable to that modification, boosting the likelihood of precise, repeatable results (Greenwell et al., 2018). This contributes to the credibility of the results, particularly those that checked the association between diet and diabetes outcomes. It can thus be deduced that diet influences diabetes outcomes in women with a history of gestational diabetes. Plant-based foods are better than animal-based foods in preventing diabetes in these women.
Additionally, this review combines both interventional and observational study types, providing a more comprehensive analysis of the data that is accessible. The purpose of interventional studies, typically perspective, is to evaluate the direct impact of illness prevention or therapy on the condition (D’Arcy et al., 2020). Observational study designs include cross-sectional, ecological, retrospective, prospective, case-control, and case-crossover cohorts. Diagnostic research designs, which assess the precision of diagnostic techniques and tests compared to other diagnostic measures, are a substantial subset of observational studies. These include designs for diagnostic cohorts, randomized controlled trials, and designs for diagnostic accuracy. The main flaw in the review is the severe absence of appropriate dietary intervention research. To validate the findings of observational studies, further information from postpartum nutrition RCTs that follow women for extended periods is needed (D’Arcy et al., 2020).
According to current observational evidence, future RCTs should concentrate on other dietary elements, such as boosting the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Instead of only the type and quantity of carbohydrates, attention should also be paid to other plant-based foods while limiting the consumption of animal goods like red and processed meats. There is literature that concludes that vegetables and fruits are essential to a healthy diet (Cena & Calder, 2020). The diabetes outcome of women with a history of gestational diabetes can be better if these women take more fruits and vegetables, low carbohydrates and more plant-based proteins. Future RCTs should therefore incorporate all these dietary elements in the study to come up with a conclusive summary of the best dietary components for preventing the pathogenesis of diabetes in these women.
Credibility and study finding meaning.
The systemic review is a credible study article as the aim of the study influenced the data collection, data analysis, and results presentation. The authors perfectly bore the study’s aim as they conducted the whole research. Secondly, the authors who conducted this systemic review are credible as they are specialists in nutrition and generally in health care. For instance, Ellie is an evaluation and research officer with a Ph.D., belonging to the health intelligence unit based in Australia (D’Arcy et al., 2020). In addition, reviewed articles were obtained from credible databases like Embase, and thus can trust the articles. On top of this, the research made use of secondary data, that is, data from other previous research on similar research questions to explain their findings. The systemic review has a subsection entitled interpretation that compares the results with those of previous RCTs’ systemic reviews. Lastly, the research measures the two variables and drives conclusions based on the findings.
The findings imply that nutrition may be crucial in preventing diabetes in women who have had GDM in the past. They also show beneficial associations between various foods, nutrients, and dietary patterns following current dietary recommendations (D’Arcy et al., 2020). To determine if dietary changes made in accordance with healthy eating recommendations lower the prevalence of T2DM among women following a GDM pregnancy, additional significant prospective dietary RCTs that are acceptable to new mothers are required.
From the review, it is clear that there is an association between diet and developing type 2 diabetes mellitus in women with a history of gestational diabetes. A properly balanced diet made up of vegetables, fruits, plant-based proteins, and low carbohydrates is deemed healthy to ensure that the blood sugar levels go back to normal and curb the development of T2DM. Thus, the study proved an association between a woman’s eating habits and diabetes outcomes after birth. The study was primarily focused on a low carbohydrate diet, and there is a gap that needs to be filled in future research studies on the same topic. Future research should focus on the number of carbohydrates and other types of foods like fruits, vegetables, and plant-based proteins. Besides, research should be done to assess if dietary modifications after birth will lower the prevalence of T2DM.
CDC. (2022, March 2). Gestational Diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/gestational.html
Cena, H., & Calder, P. C. (2020). Defining a healthy diet: evidence for the role of contemporary dietary patterns in health and disease. Nutrients, 12(2), 334.
D’Arcy, E., Rayner, J., Hodge, A., Ross, L. J., & Schoenmaker, D. A. (2020). The role of diet in the prevention of diabetes among women with prior gestational diabetes: a systematic review of intervention and observational studies. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120(1), 69-85.
Greenwell, B. M., Boehmke, B. C., & McCarthy, A. J. (2018). A simple and effective model-based variable importance measure. arXiv preprint arXiv:1805.04755.