Ultra-processed food consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in the UK

  • Levy RB & al.
  • Clin Nutr
  • 28 Dec 2020

  • curated by Sarfaroj Khan
  • UK Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Ultra-processed food (UPF) consumption was associated with a clinically important increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D).
  • The risk of incident T2D increased by 12% for every 10 percentage points increase in UPF consumption.

Why this matters

  • Findings highlight the urgent need for identifying and implementing effective public health actions to reduce UPF consumption in the UK and globally.

Study design

  • This prospective cohort study included 21,730 UK Biobank participants (age, 40-69 years) without diabetes at baseline and with valid 24-hour dietary recall and follow-up data available.
  • Funding: National Institute for Health Research School for Public Health Research.

Key results

  • The mean contribution of UPFs to the overall diet (in grams) was 22.1%.
  • 305 incident T2D cases were identified during a mean follow-up of 5.4 years.
  • A gradient of elevated risk of T2D with increasing levels of UPF intake was consistently observed in all unadjusted and adjusted regression models (Ptrend<.001>
  • Compared with the group in the lowest quartile of UPF intake, the risk of T2D was greater in the group with the highest quartile of UPF (adjusted HR [aHR], 1.44; 95% CI, 1.04-2.02; Ptrend<.028>
  • The risk of T2D significantly increased with every 10 percentage points increase in UPF consumption (aHR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04-1.20; P<.002>

Limitations

  • Identification of incident T2D cases was based on self-reported and nurse interview data.