Combined low-saturated fat intake and high fitness may counterbalance diabetogenic effects of obesity: the DR's EXTRA Study

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Sep;67(9):1000-2. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.138. Epub 2013 Jul 31.


We report associations of saturated fat (SF) intake with impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), concurrent IFG+IGT and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) at different levels of cardiorespiratory fitness and body mass index (BMI). In a population-based sample (n=1261, age 58-78 years), oral glucose tolerance, 4-day food intake and maximal oxygen uptake were measured. High intake of SF (>11.4 E%) was associated with elevated risk for IFG (4.36; 1.93-9.88), concurrent IFG+IGT (6.03; 1.25-29.20) and T2DM (4.77; 1.93-11.82) in the category of high BMI (>26.5) and high fitness, whereas there was no significantly elevated risk in individuals reporting low intake of SF. Concurrent high BMI and low fitness were associated with elevated risks. In general, SF intake and fitness did not differentiate the risk of abnormal glucose metabolism among subjects with low BMI. Limited intake of SF may protect from diabetogenic effects of adiposity, but only in individuals with high level of fitness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Fasting / blood
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Glucose Intolerance
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids