Poor Diet Causes 70% Of Type 2 Diabetes

People preparing healthy food to help control their diabetes

A new analysis found that worldwide, diet accounts for 70% of Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis’. This analysis found that 24.6% of cases were caused by excess consumption of wheat intake and refined rice. Excess processed meat caused 20.3% of cases and inadequate whole grain intake caused 26.1% of cases.

Other causes for the increase in diagnosis is the consumption of too much fruit juice and not eating enough non-starchy vegetables, nuts or seeds.

The majority of Type 2 diabetes cases can be attributed to unhealthy eating habits

A prior study found that diet caused 40% of new cases diagnosed, however the inclusion of refined grains is the cause of the increase today. They used data from the Global Dietary Database to study dietary intake in 184 countries from 1990 to 2018. This translates to 8.6 million more cases of Type 2 Diabetes in 2018 than in 1990 because of poor diet. The diet included more processed meat and sugary drinks, especially in Colombia, Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean.

As food prices go up or stay up, this data will show even more diagnosis of Type 2 than even today. Things have to change to reverse this trend. Increasing consumption of whole grains probably would have to most impact.

Source: Clinical Endocrinology News, Vol. 18.No5.May 2023

How Can We Lower The Percentage of Type 2 Diabetes Cases That Are Caused By A Poor Diet?

That are many strategies that can be used:

1) Education and awareness: Increasing public knowledge and awareness about the link between diet and Type 2 diabetes is crucial. This can involve educational campaigns, workshops, seminars, and public health initiatives that emphasize the importance of a healthy diet in preventing and managing diabetes.

2) Promoting healthy eating habits: Encouraging individuals to adopt healthier dietary patterns can significantly reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. This includes consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats while limiting the intake of processed foods, sugary beverages, and high-fat foods.

3) Policy interventions: Implementing laws and regulations that promote healthier food ingredients can have a significant impact. This can involve initiatives such as taxing sugary drinks, improving food labeling to make it easier for consumers to identify healthier choices, and regulating marketing practices for unhealthy foods targeted at children.

4) Access to healthy food: Ensuring that communities have access to affordable and nutritious food options is essential. This can involve initiatives like improving the availability of fresh produce in underserved areas, supporting local farmers' markets, and promoting community gardens.

5) Collaboration with healthcare providers: Working closely with healthcare professionals to integrate nutrition counseling and education into routine medical care can be beneficial. By providing patients with personalized guidance and support, healthcare providers can help individuals make healthier dietary choices and reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

6) Behavioral interventions: Implementing behavior change interventions that target individuals at risk of Type 2 diabetes can be effective. These interventions may include lifestyle coaching, goal setting, and continuous support to facilitate long-term adherence to healthy eating habits.

improving diet and lifestyle factors is crucial in reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes, it's not the only contributing factor. Genetic predisposition, physical activity levels, and other lifestyle factors also play a role. If you need help with managing your diabetes, please send a message. I'm a licensed dietitian and diabetic educator and a Type 1 diabetic. I understand all the issues that you are dealing with.

Ready to find out more?

As a Diabetes Educator and Nutritionist I help my patients cope with managing their diabetes - whether it's diet, nutrition, supplements, blood sugar, or pump therapy.

Please reach out and contact me if you need support, I truly understand. I live it every day. 

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