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Does drinking diet soda increase babies weight in women with gestational diabetes?

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CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A new study looked at women diagnosed with gestational diabetes in pregnancy who drank diet soda to see if it affected their babies' weight.

Gestational diabetes is when blood sugar levels get too high, raising the risk a baby will be born very large. Researchers wanted to learn of any potential risks when moms-to-be drank diet soda during pregnancy.

Experts at the Cleveland Clinic who reviewed this study say while a small amount of diet soda does not appear to be harmful to mom or baby in pregnancy. Researchers said it later raised the risk for children to be overweight.

They found that when they looked out seven years, the babies-- especially boys-- had a higher risk of being obese or overweight.

This came from information from more than nine hundred pregnant women with gestational diabetes who were followed at least six years. About nine percent of the women surveyed drank at least one diet soda per day.

Researchers said these women were sixty-percent more likely to have babies with a high birth weight compared with women who did not drink any diet soda during pregnancy.

Likewise, the children born to the women who drank water instead of sweetened beverages were seventeen percent less likely to be overweight by age seven.

Women's health specialists at the Cleveland Clinic say more research on this needs to be conducted to determine whether the diet soda alone was linked to this the problem, or whether the women who drank diet soda also ate diets high in fat and sugar.

Some people drink diet soda and eat sugary and high fat foods at the same time. So the conclusion was if they eat a well-balanced low-fat, high-protein and add diet soda the result may not be the same.

Water was the beverage of choice suggested for pregnancy to reduce calories.

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