Condition category
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
The aim of this study is to see whether a reduced calorie diet can be used to treat diabetes that develops during pregnancy (gestational diabetes). We know that this treatment can be very successful for people with late-onset (type 2) diabetes; the question is whether it can also be used to treat gestational diabetes. We are also interested in the effects of the diet on the body, in particular the effect on the liver. It is thought that gestational diabetes occurs due to too much fat in the liver. This study looks to see whether liver fat is reduced by diet.

Who can participate?
Pregnant women with gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed after 20 weeks gestation by an oral glucose tolerance test arranged by your NHS midwife or antenatal clinic. Women can enter the study between 20 and 32 weeks gestation.

What does the study involve?
The study involves two visits to the Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre. At each visit you will be asked not to eat or drink overnight. You will have a magnetic resonance scan of the liver. This is perfectly safe in pregnancy. You will then be given breakfast (cereal, bread roll, margarine, jam and fruit juice). Blood samples will be taken over the next three hours to measure your body’s response to breakfast. During your first visit you will be seen by a dietician. We will explain how to reduce your calorie intake to 1,200 kcal. Food suggestions, recipes and portion sizes will be discussed in order to give you a balanced diet containing all necessary nutrients. You will be asked to keep a food diary on MyFitnessPal (a smartphone app). We will show you how to do this. The diary is reviewed regularly by one of the research team and we will contact you by text or telephone regularly during the diet. After 4 weeks of dieting you will be asked to return to the Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre for a repeat scan of the liver and meal test. We will be able to tell you how much fat you have lost from the liver and see the effect of the diet on your glucose control during the meal.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
The main benefit of the study is an improvement in your glucose control. This is of huge benefit to both you and your baby and reduces the risks associated with gestational diabetes. Additionally, there are benefits of a more healthy weight in terms of reducing pregnancy risks such as blood clots and infection. You will benefit from more intense medical input during your pregnancy. You will gain knowledge about your body during pregnancy and get feedback with regards to the effect of diet on your metabolism. There are no risks of participating in this study.

Where is the study run from?
The study recruits patients from the Obstetric Medicine Antenatal Clinic at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust. The study is run at the Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre, Newcastle University (UK).

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study starts in January 2015 and is expected to run until August 2015.

Who is funding the study?
The study is funded by a grant from the North East Diabetes Trust (UK).

Who is the main contact?
Dr Ken Hodson

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Kenneth Hodson


Contact details

Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre
Campus for Ageing and Vitality
Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Dietary intervention for the treatment of gestational diabetes: a magnetic resonance study



Study hypothesis

Calorie restriction in women with gestational diabetes reduces liver fat, thereby improving insulin resistance and improved glycaemic control.

Ethics approval

NRES Committee North East - Newcastle & North Tyneside 2, 22/10/2014, ref: 14/NE/1085

Study design

Interventional non-randomised study

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Non randomised study

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use contact details below to request a patient information sheet.


Gestational diabetes: hyperglycaemia that is first recognised in pregnancy


Dietary intervention: calorie reduction to 1,200 kcal for four weeks.
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy will be used to quantify liver fat before and after a four-week dietary intervention. A standardised meal test will be used to quantify insulin resistance and glycaemic control.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measures

1. Liver fat – measured at baseline and after 4 weeks of dietary intervention by magnetic resonance spectroscopy
2. Glycaemic control – measured by home blood glucose monitoring in the first and fourth weeks

Secondary outcome measures

1. Insulin/C peptide/glucose response to a standardised meal test. Measured at baseline and after 4 weeks of dietary intervention
2. Lipid profile – measured using nuclear magnetic spectroscopy at baseline and 4 weeks of dietary intervention
3. HBA1c – measured at baseline and after 4 weeks of dietary intervention
4. Feasibility and acceptibility of dietary intervention in pregnancy (qualitative study) – assessed by semi-structured interview after the dietary intervention and analysed using the theory domain framework

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Female
2. Greater than 20 weeks pregnant
3. Gestational diabetes (oral glucose tolerance test greater than/equal to 5.1 mmol/l, or 2-hour glucose greater than/equal to 7.8 mmol/l)

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria

Contraindication to MRI:
1. Pacemaker/ferromagnetic implants
2. Metallic fragments in eye
3. Piercings that cannot be removed
4. Claustrophobia

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Victoria Infirmary Queen Victoria Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre
Newcastle University Campus for Ageing and Vitality
Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sponsor details

Royal Victoria Infirmary
Queen Victoria Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom

Sponsor type

Hospital/treatment centre



Funder type


Funder name

North East Diabetes Trust (UK)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

The results from this study will be written up for publication as a scientific paper in an established medical journal. Expected completion and publication will be by August 2016.

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

Available on request

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes