Abdominal obesity and type 2 diabetes in Asian Indians: dietary strategies including edible oils, cooking practices and sugar intake

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2017 Jul;71(7):850-857. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2017.92. Epub 2017 Jun 14.


Obesity and type 2 diabetes are increasing in rural and urban regions of South Asia including India. Pattern of fat deposition in abdomen, ectopic fat deposition (liver, pancreas) and also low lean mass are contributory to early-onset insulin resistance, dysmetabolic state and diabetes in Asian Indians. These metabolic perturbations are further exacerbated by changing lifestyle, diet urbanization, and mechanization. Important dietary imbalances include increasing use of oils containing high amount of trans fatty acids and saturated fats (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, palmolein oil) use of deep frying method and reheating of oils for cooking, high intake of saturated fats, sugar and refined carbohydrates, low intake of protein, fiber and increasing intake of processed foods. Although dietary intervention trials are few; the data show that improving quality of carbohydrates (more complex carbohydrates), improving fat quality (more monounsaturated fatty acids and omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids) and increasing protein intake could improve blood glucose, serum insulin, lipids, inflammatory markers and hepatic fat, but more studies are needed. Finally, regulatory framework must be tightened to impose taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages, oils such as palmolein, and dietary fats and limit trans fats.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Asian People
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cooking*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diet
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Sugars / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Insulin / blood
  • Life Style
  • Obesity, Abdominal / complications
  • Obesity, Abdominal / epidemiology*
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sarcopenia / complications
  • Sarcopenia / epidemiology*
  • Trans Fatty Acids / administration & dosage
  • White People


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Dietary Sugars
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Insulin
  • Plant Oils
  • Trans Fatty Acids