Candy Twists Comparable to Glucola Drink for Gestational Diabetes Screening

(HealthDay News) — Candy twists can be used as an alternative to glucola beverage in gestational diabetes screening, according to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Up to 30% of pregnant women report significant side effects from the 50-gram glucola beverage and subsequent venous puncture. 

With this in mind, Diana A. Racusin, MD, from the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, and colleagues examined whether an equivalent glucose load could be achieved from a popular candy (10 Twizzlers candy twists). 

Safety and equivalence of load were ensured in a triple crossover design among nonpregnant patients where each patient served as her own control. Pregnant women with an abnormal screening at 1 hour were then recruited in a double crossover design study. They consumed 10 candy twists with a 1-hour venous blood glucose assessment. They then completed the confirmatory 3-hour glucose tolerance test.

The researchers found that the sensitivity was equivalent for candy twists and glucola, at ≥130 mg/dL (100%). Compared with glucola, for candy twists there were improvements in the false-referral rate (82% vs. 90%), positive predictive value (18% vs. 10%), and detection rate (18% vs. 10%).

“Strawberry-flavored candy twists are potentially an equally effective screening test, compared with the gold standard glucola beverage but lead to fewer false-positive screens and therefore could be a cost-effective alternative,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Racusin DA et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015;doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2014.11.010.