Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this study was to investigate the association of dietary macronutrient composition and energy density with the change in body weight and waist circumference and diabetes incidence in the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study.
Subjects and methods: Overweight, middle-aged men (n=172) and women (n=350) with impaired glucose tolerance were randomised to receive either 'standard care' (control) or intensive dietary and exercise counselling. Baseline and annual examinations included assessment of dietary intake with 3-day food records and diabetes status by repeated 75-g OGTTs. For these analyses the treatment groups were combined and only subjects with follow-up data (n=500) were included.
Results: Individuals with low fat (<median) and high fibre (>median) intakes lost more weight compared with those consuming a high-fat (>median), low-fibre (<median) diet (3.1 vs 0.7 kg after 3 years). In separate models, hazard ratios for diabetes incidence during a mean follow-up of 4.1 years were (highest compared with lowest quartile) 0.38 (95% CI 0.19-0.77) for fibre intake, 2.14 (95% CI 1.16-3.92) for fat intake, and 1.73 (95% CI 0.89-3.38) for saturated-fat intake, after adjustment for sex, intervention assignment, weight and weight change, physical activity, baseline 2-h plasma glucose and intake of the nutrient being investigated. Compared with the low-fat/high-fibre category, hazard ratios were 1.98 (95% CI 0.98-4.02), 2.68 (95% CI 1.40-5.10), and 1.89 (95% CI 1.09-3.30) for low-fat/low-fibre, high-fat/high-fibre, and high-fat/low-fibre, respectively.
Conclusions/interpretation: Dietary fat and fibre intake are significant predictors of sustained weight reduction and progression to type 2 diabetes in high-risk subjects, even after adjustment for other risk factors.