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Letters Pre-pregnancy potato consumption and gestational diabetes

Study on potato consumption will increase confusion regarding food and the risk of gestational diabetes

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 02 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1188
  1. Patrick Mullie, professor1 2,
  2. Mathieu Boniol, professor1 3,
  3. Philippe Autier, professor1 3
  1. 1International Prevention Research Institute, 95 Cours Lafayette, 69006 Lyon, France
  2. 2Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Elsene, Belgium
  3. 3Strathclyde University Global Public Health Institute, Lyon, France
  1. patrick.mullie{at}

Using data from the Nurses’ Health Study II, Bao and colleagues found a higher prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) with increasing potato consumption.1 The authors stated that the high glycaemic index of potatoes, which causes a sharp postprandial rise in blood glucose concentrations and a risk of associated pancreatic β cells exhaustion, could explain this association.

However, use of the glycaemic index has methodological limitations. Dodd and colleagues found that the glycaemic index of a meal is overestimated by 22-50% when a formula is used rather than direct measurement.2 This overestimation was unpredictable and food dependent—for example, it was greater for spaghetti than for potato. …

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