Better Diet Management Reduces Diabetes Risk

"Although recent public health recommendations have increasingly focused on recommending complete diet quality improvement, evidence was restricted on whether shifting overall diet in adulthood has a long term preventative impact on diabetes prevention in general citizenry," said lead writer Sylvia H. Ley of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

"We provide evidence that improving diet quality in maturity is related to type 2 diabetes prevention, while worsening diet quality is associated increased risk for diabetes," she said by e-mail.

The researchers examined data on more than 124,000 adults who did not have diabetes at the start of three big, long term studies of lifestyle and and consequences health who were detected for at least 20 years. Every four years their diet quality was rated by participants on a healthy eating index.

There were 9,361 cases of type 2 diabetes during the studies. When dietary quality scores decreased by more than 10 percent between four-year surveys, diabetes risk went up by about 34 percent, the researchers found. Improving diet quality by the same amount resulted in a 16 percent decrease in diabetes risk.

"Accumulative scientific evidence has supported that improving and keeping total quality of healthy diet is advantageous for long term chronic disease prevention," Ley said at type 2 diabetes forum. "Chasing after the most recent short term fix isn't likely to offer sustained advantages in the long term."

Improving diet was associated with decreased diabetes risk regardless how much excess weight they carried or of how a man ate at the start of the study. Losing weight explained some, but not all, of the change in diabetes risk, based on the results.

"Improving overall diet quality as an adult no matter where you begin, whether you've got poor or better first diet quality, appears to be beneficial for diabetes prevention." as described at diabetes forums

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