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Culturally Guided Diet Changes May Help Diabetes Prevention

Diabetes-related dietary characteristics identified in African-American adults

THURSDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Identification of dietary trends, such as levels of carbohydrate, protein, and fiber intake, in African-Americans without diabetes, with pre-diabetes, and with diabetes could potentially guide culturally-targeted diabetes prevention and treatment methods, according to research published in the Spring issue of Ethnicity & Disease.

Jonathan M. Scott, of The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues examined data from 2,589 African-American adults from the 1999 to 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to identify differences in nutrition intake profiles between African-Americans who were normoglycemic, had pre-diabetes, or had diabetes. Energy-adjusted nutrient intakes were compared across each diabetes status.

The researchers found that pre-diabetes risk increased 4 percent and risk of diabetes increased 7 percent for every year increase in age. African-Americans with a diagnosis of diabetes had a significantly lower overall energy consumption, but significantly higher energy-adjusted protein and fiber consumption than those with normal blood glucose. For all three diabetes status groups, carbohydrate consumption was almost 2.5 times the estimated average intake requirement. B vitamin intakes were also significantly higher in those with diabetes than in those with normal blood glucose. The authors concluded that the results supported the development of culturally sensitive diabetes prevention and treatment strategies.

"The specific dietary patterns we found in our study -- decreased fruit, vegetable, whole grain, low-fat dairy intakes and increased meat and non-whole grain intakes -- are linked to other comorbidities resulting from diabetes," the authors write. "The development of culturally sensitive materials targeting specific nutrient intakes presented herein may help to improve diabetes prevention and management efforts in African-American populations."

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