New York: Increased intake of refined rice and wheat as well as processed red meat, and low consumption of whole grains is causing a significant increase in the global cases of diabetes, according to a study.
The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, showed that poor diet contributed to over 14.1 million cases of Type-2 diabetes, representing over 70 per cent of new diagnoses globally.
They found factors such as drinking too much fruit juice and not eating enough non-starchy vegetables, nuts, or seeds, had less of an impact on new cases of the disease.
“Our study suggests poor carbohydrate quality is a leading driver of diet-attributable type 2 diabetes globally, and with important variation by nation and over time,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, Professor of Nutrition and dean for policy at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.
“These new findings reveal critical areas for national and global focus to improve nutrition and reduce devastating burdens of diabetes,” Mozaffarian added.
The analysis, based on a research model of dietary intake in 184 countries from 1990 and 2018, revealed that poor diet is causing a larger proportion of total Type-2 diabetes incidence in men versus women, in younger versus older adults, and in urban versus rural residents at the global level.
Diabetes is linked to a number of diseases like risk of heart attacks and strokes, nerve damage, blindness and kidney failure, among others.
“Left unchecked and with incidence only projected to rise, Type-2 diabetes will continue to impact population health, economic productivity, health care system capacity, and drive health inequities worldwide,” said first author Meghan O’Hearn, who conducted the research while a doctoral candidate at the Friedman School.
“These findings can help inform nutritional priorities for clinicians, policymakers, and private sector actors as they encourage healthier dietary choices that address this global epidemic,” she noted.
According to the latest International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the global prevalence of Type-2 diabetes in adults was 536.6 million people (10.5 per cent) in 2021, and that there would be 783.2 million people (12.2 per cent) living with diabetes worldwide by 2045.
In India, there are estimated 77 million people above the age of 18 years are suffering from diabetes (Type-2) and nearly 25 million are prediabetics (at a higher risk of developing diabetes in near future), revealed data from the World Health Organization.