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08-28-2018 | Diet | Review | Article

Dietary Interventions and Type 2 Diabetes in Youth: a Fresh Look at the Evidence

Current Nutrition Reports

Authors: William B. Perkison, Joel A. Adekanye, Marcia C. de Oliveira Otto

Publisher: Springer US


Purpose of Review

The incidence of type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents has sharply increased, highly influenced by prevalence of obesity in youth. Here, we provide an overview of the pathogenesis of diabetes, and summarize recent dietary interventions investigating effects of diet on metabolic risk factors in overweight and obese youth.

Recent Findings

Seven dietary interventions were identified randomly assigning participants to weekly or bi-weekly dietary counseling sessions over 12–24-week period, with mixed results. Four interventions showed significant reductions in fasting insulin and insulin resistance levels relative to baseline concentrations ranging from 26 to 50%.


Recent evidence is mixed, with four studies showing improvements to insulin concentrations and insulin resistance in obese children and adolescents associated with energy restriction and/or change to carbohydrate consumption. Further work is needed to investigate long-term effects of dietary factors including carbohydrate quality and energy restriction on metabolic health and diabetes prevention early in life.

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