Objective: To study the relationship between dietary intake and the development of type 2 diabetes among Chinese adults.
Design: A prospective cohort study. Dietary assessment was carried out using a validated FFQ. Principal component analysis was used to identify dietary patterns. Dietary glycaemic load and variety of snacks were also calculated.
Setting: A hospital-based centre at the Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong SAR, China.
Subjects: A total of 1010 Chinese adults aged 25-74 years who participated in a territory-wide dietary and cardiovascular risk factor prevalence survey in 1995-1996 were followed up for 9-14 years for the development of diabetes.
Results: A total of 690 (68·3 %) individuals completed follow-up during 2005-2008 and seventy-four cases of diabetes were identified over the follow-up period. Four dietary patterns were identified ('more snacks and drinks', 'more vegetables, fruits and fish', 'more meat and milk products' and 'more refined grains'). After adjustment for age, sex, BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, smoking, alcohol intake, participation in exercise/sports and family history of diabetes, the more vegetables, fruits and fish pattern was associated with a 14 % lower risk (OR per 1 sd increase in score = 0·76; 95 % CI 0·58, 0·99), whereas the more meat and milk products pattern was associated with a 39 % greater risk of diabetes (OR per 1 sd increase in score = 1·39; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·84). Dietary glycaemic load, rice intake, snack intake and variety of snacks were not independently associated with diabetes.
Conclusions: The more vegetables, fruits and fish pattern was associated with reduced risk and the more meat and milk products pattern was associated with an increased risk of diabetes.