Impact of consumption of processed food on diabetes risk


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Consuming a higher proportion of ultra-processed food (UPF) could be linked with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), suggests a new research published in JAMA Internal Medicine. 

Researchers analysed data on 104,707 adults from the French NutriNet-Santé cohort (2009-2019) whose dietary intake was collected through dietary records. Associations between UPF consumption and risk of T2D were assessed using cause-specific multivariable Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for known risk factors. 

During follow-up, 821 incident T2D cases were detected. The researchers reported that consumption of UPF was associated with a higher risk of T2D (multi-adjusted hazard ratio [HR] for an absolute increment of 10 in the percentage of UPF in the diet 1.15; 95% CI 1.06-1.25; P=.001). The absolute amount of UPF consumption in grammes per day was consistently associated with T2D risk. 

They noted that the findings need to be confirmed in large prospective cohorts in other settings, and the underlying mechanisms need to be explored. They also highlighted that non-nutritional dimensions of the diet may play a role in these associations, such as some additives, contaminants and contact materials. 

Nonetheless, they concluded that the findings provide evidence to support efforts by public health authorities to recommend limiting UPF consumption.