Dietary patterns and type 2 diabetes among Ghanaian migrants in Europe and their compatriots in Ghana: the RODAM study

Nutr Diabetes. 2018 Apr 25;8(1):25. doi: 10.1038/s41387-018-0029-x.


Background/objectives: We aimed to study the associations of dietary patterns (DPs) with type 2 diabetes (T2D) among Ghanaian adults.

Subjects/methods: In the multi-centre, cross-sectional RODAM (Research on Obesity and Diabetes among African Migrants) study (n = 4543), three overall DPs ("mixed", "rice, pasta, meat and fish," and "roots, tubers and plantain") and two site-specific DPs per study site (rural Ghana, urban Ghana and Europe) were identified by principal component analysis. The DPs-T2D associations were calculated by logistic regression models.

Results: Higher adherence to the "rice, pasta, meat and fish" DP (characterized by legumes, rice/pasta, meat, fish, cakes/sweets, condiments) was associated with decreased odds of T2D, adjusted for socio-demographic factors, total energy intake and adiposity measures (odds ratio (OR)per 1 SD = 0.80; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.70-0.92). Similar DPs and T2D associations were discernible in urban Ghana and Europe. In the total study population, neither the "mixed" DP (whole grain cereals, sweet spreads, dairy products, potatoes, vegetables, poultry, coffee/tea, sodas/juices, olive oil) nor the "roots, tubers and plantain" DP (refined cereals, fruits, nuts/seeds, roots/tubers/plantain, fermented maize products, legumes, palm oil, condiments) was associated with T2D. Yet, after the exclusion of individuals with self-reported T2D, the "roots, tubers and plantain" DP was inversely associated with T2D (ORper 1 SD = 0.88; 95% CI = 0.69-1.12).

Conclusion: In this Ghanaian population, DPs characterized by the intake of legumes, fish, meat and confectionery were inversely associated with T2D. The effect of a traditional-oriented diet (typical staples, vegetables and legumes) remains unclear.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology*
  • Diet / ethnology*
  • Energy Intake
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Ghana / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Transients and Migrants*
  • Vegetables