April saw five new papers enter into BMJ Open’s top 10 most read articles. In first place is a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials that aimed to examine the effects of pasta on body weight and measures of adiposity in adults following a low glycaemic index (GI) diet. Compared to those assigned to a higher-GI diet, the body weight and BMI of adults eating pasta on a low GI diet was reduced. However, Chiavaroli et al. caution that the included trials only assessed pasta in the context of low GI dietary patterns so results shouldn’t be generalised to other diets or to adults who are not dieting. Furthermore, none of the trials assessed the effect of pasta alone and most did not quantify the amount of pasta consumed.
Other new entries include an observational cohort study from Norway by Papadopoulou et al. that examined the relationship between caffeine intake during pregnancy and childhood growth and overweight. Using data from 50,943 mothers recruited from 2002 to 2008 and their children, the authors found that caffeine intake during pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of excess infant growth and of childhood overweight, mainly at preschool ages, suggesting that mothers should reduce their caffeine intake during pregnancy.
New at number 4 is a cohort study from specialist endometriosis centres in the UK estimating the effectiveness and safety of laparoscopic surgical excision of rectovaginal endometriosis. The authors found significant reductions in patient reported symptoms and surgical complications as well as improvements in quality of life at 2 years postsurgery. Lastly at number 8 is another systematic review and meta-analysis that found a moderate association between premenstrual syndrome risk and alcohol consumption. The authors caution that reverse causation cannot be ruled out and as the meta-analysis was of observational studies, residual confounding may have biased the results.
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