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Diabetes, abdominal obesity risks lower with veggie–fruit but higher with sweet–fast food diets

11 Jul 2020

Individuals who eat large amounts of vegetables and fruits, wheat, nuts, and dairy products are better protected against insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, and excessive abdominal fat as compared with those who consume lots of fast foods, alcoholic beverages, and desserts—a dietary pattern described to promote metabolic abnormalities and disorders, as reported in a study.

The analysis included 575 men and 857 women aged 40–65 years, among whom 10.6 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively, had diabetes. Those who did vs did not have the metabolic disorder tended to have higher waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, fat percentage, fasting plasma glucose, homeostasis model of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), HbA1C, and visceral fat area, among others. Moreover, diabetic women were more likely to be older and have higher triglyceride levels than their male counterparts.

All participants had completed a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire, and four major dietary patterns emerged. The vegetables–fruits, rice–meat, seafood–eggs, and sweet–fast food patterns. Each dietary pattern showed 12.33 percent, 12.29 percent, 8.41 percent, and 6.07 percent of the variation in food intake, respectively.

The vegetables–fruits pattern was inversely associated with HOMA-IR in both sexes (p<0.001), whereas the sweet–fast food pattern was significantly associated with higher HOMA-IR (p=0.002 in males and p<0.001 in females). The vegetables–fruits pattern also correlated with lower visceral fat area (VFA; p=0.029 in males and p=0.017 in females), while the opposite was observed for the sweet–fast food pattern, the effect of which was significantly pronounced in men (p<0.001). There were no associations observed between the rice–meat or the seafood–eggs patterns and HOMA-IR or VFA.

On multivariate logistic regression analysis, the highest tertile of vegetables–fruits pattern was protective against diabetes in both males (odds ratio [OR], 0.30) and females (OR, 0.28), as well as against central obesity but only in men (OR, 0.50).

Conversely, the highest tertile of sweet–fast food pattern was tied to a higher risk of diabetes (OR, 2.58) and central obesity (OR, 2.85) among men only.

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