How Does Diet Quality Affect Type 2 Diabetes Risk?

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Researchers examined changes in diet quality with type 2 diabetes risk.
Researchers examined changes in diet quality with type 2 diabetes risk.

HealthDay News—Changes in diet quality correlate with subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes, and the association between diet quality changes and diabetes risk is only partly explained by body weight changes, according to a study published online September 15 in Diabetes Care.

Sylvia H. Ley, PhD, from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues assessed changes in diet quality during a 4-year period and the correlation with type 2 diabetes incidence. A total of 124,607 participants of the Nurses' Health Study (NHS), the NHS II, and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study were observed for ≥20 years.

The researchers identified 9,361 cases of type 2 diabetes during 2,093,416 person-years of follow-up. After multiple adjustment, a >10% decrease in the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) score over 4 years correlated with elevated subsequent diabetes risk (pooled hazard ratio [HR], 1.34), whereas a >10% increase in AHEI score correlated with reduced risk (pooled HR, 0.84). Across baseline diet quality status and baseline body mass index, greater improvement in diet quality correlated with lower diabetes risk. Thirty-two percent of the association between AHEI changes and diabetes risk was explained by changes in body weight.

"Improvement in overall diet quality is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas deterioration in diet quality is associated with a higher risk," the authors write. "The association between diet quality changes and diabetes risk is only partly explained by body weight changes."

Reference

Ley SH, Pan A, Yanping L, et al. Changes in overall diet quality and subsequent type 2 diabetes risk: three US prospective cohorts. Diabetes Care. 2016; doi: 10.2337/dc16-0574

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