Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2013 Aug 2;13:706.
doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-706.

Association Between Legume Intake and Self-Reported Diabetes Among Adult Men and Women in India

Free PMC article

Association Between Legume Intake and Self-Reported Diabetes Among Adult Men and Women in India

Sutapa Agrawal et al. BMC Public Health. .
Free PMC article


Background: It is postulated that a diet high in legumes may be beneficial in preventing diabetes. However, little empirical evidence on this association exists in developing countries. We aimed to examine the association between legume intake and self-reported diabetes status in adult men and women in India.

Methods: The analysis is based on a population-based cross sectional study of 99,574 women and 56,742 men aged 20-49 years included in India's third National Family Health Survey conducted in 2005-06. Association of legume intake, determined by the frequency of consumption of pulses and beans (daily, weekly and occasionally or never), with the reported prevalence of diabetes were estimated using multiple logistic regression after adjusting for frequency of consumption of other food items, BMI status, tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking, watching television, age, education, living standard of the household, residence and geographic regions.

Results: Daily (OR: 0.71; 95% CI: 0.59-0.87; p=0.001) and weekly (OR: 0.66; 95% CI: 0.54-0.80; p<0.001) legumes intake were associated with a significantly reduced prevalence of diabetes among adult Indian women even after controlling for the effects of potentially confounding factors, whereas non-significant inverse associations were observed in men.

Conclusion: Daily or weekly intake of legumes was inversely associated with presence of diabetes in the Indian population. However, this is an observational finding and uncontrolled confounding cannot be excluded as an explanation for the association. More epidemiological research with better measures of legumes intake and clinical measures of diabetes is needed to clarify this relationship.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 8 articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Zimmet P. Globalization, coca-colonization and the chronic disease epidemic: can the Doomsday scenario be averted? J Intern Med. 2000;247(3):301–310. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2796.2000.00625.x. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Villegas R, Gao YT, Yang G, Li HL, Elasy TA, Zheng W, Shu XO. Legume and soy food intake and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in the Shanghai Women’s health study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87:162–167. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Mann JI, De Leeuw I, Hermansen K, Karamanos B, Karlstrom B, Katsilambros N, Riccardi G, Rivellese AA, Rizkalla S. et al. Evidence-based nutritional approaches to the treatment and prevention of diabetes mellitus. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2004;14:373–394. doi: 10.1016/S0939-4753(04)80028-0. - DOI - PubMed
    1. CDACPGE. Canadian Diabetes Association 2008 clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes in Canada. Can J Diabetes. 2008;32:S1–S201.
    1. Bantle JP, Wylie-Rosett J, Albright AL, Apovian CM, Clark NG, Franz MJ, Hoogwerf BJ, Lichtenstein AH, Mayer-Davis E. et al. Nutrition recommendations and interventions for diabetes: a position statement of the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care. 2008;31(Suppl 1):S61–S78. - PubMed

Publication types