New Study in Type 2 Diabetes Worldwide With Major Health Concerns
According to a recent study that projects data through this year, consuming too many refined wheat and rice products and not enough healthy grains is contributing to the rise in type 2 diabetes impact globally.
“Our study suggests poor carbohydrate quality is a leading driver of diet-attributable type 2 diabetes globally,” says senior author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a professor of nutrition at Tufts University and a professor of medicine at Tufts School of Medicine in Boston.
Another important issue, according to the study, is that people consume excessive amounts of processed and red meats like bacon, sausage, and salami. The study, which was released on Monday in the journal Nature Medicine, found that these three risk factors—eating insufficient amounts of whole grains, as well as too much processed grains and meats—were the main contributors to the over 14 million new instances of type 2 diabetes.
In fact, the study indicated that poor eating choices contributed to 7 out of 10 type 2 diabetes occurrences globally.
“These new findings reveal critical areas for national and global focus to improve nutrition and reduce devastating burdens of diabetes,” said Mozaffarian, who is also the editor-in-chief of the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter.
Too many processed foods
Mozaffarian and his colleagues created a study model of food consumption between 1990 and 2023, and it was used in 184 nations. According to the report, there were 8.6 million more type 2 diabetes diagnoses in 2023 as a result of inadequate nutrition than there were in 1990.
Researchers discovered that consuming too many unhealthy meals, especially for males compared to women, younger persons compared to older adults, and urban vs rural dwellers, was more of a worldwide driver of type 2 diabetes than not eating enough wholesome foods.
More than 60% of all occurrences of illness throughout the world attributed to food were caused by excessive consumption of just six unhealthy dietary practices: consuming an excessive amount of processed and unprocessed red meats, sugar-sweetened drinks, and fruit juices.
Over 39% of the new cases were caused by inadequate consumption of five preventive dietary factors: fruits, nonstarchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and yogurt.
The biggest proportion of newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes cases associated with food was found in people from Poland and Russia, whose diets frequently emphasize potatoes and red and processed meat, as well as other nations in Eastern and Central Europe and Central Asia.
Researchers speculated that the high rates of new cases in Colombia, Mexico, and other Latin American and Caribbean nations may be related to people’s consumption of processed meat, sugary beverages, and whole grains.
The authors stated, “Our modeling approach does not prove causation, and our findings should be regarded as estimates of risk.”