Diet, nutrition and the prevention of type 2 diabetes

N. P. Steyn, J. Mann, P. H. Bennett, N. Temple, Paul Zimmet, J. Tuomilehto, J. Lindström, A. Louheranta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

214 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: The overall objective of this study was to evaluate and provide evidence and recommendations on current published literature about diet and lifestyle in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Design: Epidemiological and experimental studies, focusing on nutritional intervention in the prevention of type 2 diabetes are used to make disease-specific recommendations. Long-term cohort studies are given the most weight as to strength of evidence available. Setting and subjects: Numerous clinical trials and cohort studies in low, middle and high income countries are evaluated regarding recommendations for dietary prevention of type 2 diabetes. These include, among others, the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study, US Diabetes Prevention Program, Da Qing Study; Pima Indian Study; Iowa Women's Health Study; and the study of the US Male Physicians. Results: There is convincing evidence for a decreased risk of diabetes in adults who are physically active and maintain a normal body mass index (BMI) throughout adulthood, and in overweight adults with impaired glucose tolerance who lose weight voluntarily. An increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes is associated with overweight and obesity; abdominal obesity; physical inactivity; and maternal diabetes. It is probable that a high intake of saturated fats and intrauterine growth retardation also contribute to an increased risk, while non-starch polysaccharides are likely to be associated with a decreased risk. From existing evidence it is also possible that omega-3 fatty acids, low glycaemic index foods and exclusive breastfeeding may play a protective role, and that total fat intake and trans fatty acids may contribute to the risk. However, insufficient evidence is currently available to provide convincing proof. Conclusions: Based on the strength of available evidence regarding diet and lifestyle in the prevention of type 2 diabetes, it is recommended that a normal weight status in the lower BMI range (BMI 21-23) and regular physical activity be maintained throughout adulthood; abdominal obesity be prevented; and saturated fat intake be less than 7% of the total energy intake.

LanguageEnglish
Pages147-165
Number of pages19
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Volume7
Issue number1 A
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2004

Keywords

  • Diabetes
  • Dietary intake
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Physical activity
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Steyn, N. P., Mann, J., Bennett, P. H., Temple, N., Zimmet, P., Tuomilehto, J., ... Louheranta, A. (2004). Diet, nutrition and the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Public Health Nutrition, 7(1 A), 147-165. https://doi.org/10.1079/PHN2003586