Twizzlers make pregnant women happy

Twizzlers as a Cost-Effective and Equivalent Alternative to the Glucola Beverage in Diabetes Screening. By Diana A. Racusin and colleagues. Diabetes Care 2013;36:e169–e170

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

Screening for gestational diabetes—high blood glucose during pregnancy that resolves after giving birth—involves having the patient drink a glucose-rich beverage called glucola and then testing blood glucose an hour later. Pregnant women, who often suffer from morning sickness, are not big fans of glucola—with 30 percent unable to tolerate the syrupy beverage. Researchers have tried to find more palatable alternatives to glucola for gestational diabetes screenings, such as jelly beans, but so far the substitutes haven't worked well and could lead to missed cases of diabetes. If gestational diabetes were to go undiagnosed it would increase health risks for baby and mother.

Why did the researchers do this particular study?

The researchers tested whether Twizzlers, the strawberry-flavored candy, could reliably replace glucola for gestational diabetes screenings.

Who was studied?

The study included 20 nonpregnant volunteers.

How was the study done?

The first week, participants ate 10 Twizzlers—the number that contains roughly the same amount of sugar as the standard dose of glucola—over five minutes, then had a blood glucose test one hour later. The second week, participants came back and repeated the process, but this time with glucola.

What did the researchers find?

Twizzlers and glucola raised blood glucose levels by similar amounts in participants.

What were the limitations of the study?

This study did not include pregnant women and only one participant had blood glucose levels in the diabetic range.

What are the implications of the study?

Twizzlers may be a valid substitute for glucola in gestational diabetes screenings.

  • Last Reviewed: January 15, 2014
  • Last Edited: January 15, 2014

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