Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Science


Nutrition and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Brietta Oaks


Background: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a prevalent and growing epidemic that affected 8.2% of births in 2016 in the United States. Previous studies have shown that low magnesium (Mg) is associated with type II diabetes (T2DM), and the pathophysiology of GDM and T2DM is similar.

Objective: To determine if low total Mg intake is associated with the risk of having GDM.

Design: We did a cross-sectional secondary data analysis using data from the 2005-2007 Infant Feeding Practices Study II which used a validated diet history questionnaire to collect dietary data. We analyzed total Mg intake from 1217 pregnant women in their third trimester and ran unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression models. Adjusted models included age, pre-pregnancy BMI, family history of T2DM, energy intake from food, and smoking as covariates.

Results: Mean total Mg intake was 332+138mg/day and 8.8% of women consumed a dietary supplement containing Mg. In the unadjusted model, risk of GDM was not higher with low total Mg intake (OR [95% CI]: 0.96 [0.61, 1.51]). Adjusting for all covariates did not change the association (1.06 [0.64, 1.76]).

Conclusions: Total Mg intake was not significantly associated with a higher risk of developing GDM. While this study found no association, a study with a larger sample size and adequate power, using dietary intake to measure total Mg status may indicate more significant findings.

Available for download on Tuesday, November 03, 2020