Lowering Saturated Fat and Increasing Vegetable and Fruit Intake May Increase Insulin Sensitivity 2 Years Later in Children with a Family History of Obesity

Identifying dietary factors that determine insulin sensitivity and secretion in children entering puberty may provide valuable information for the early prevention of type 2 diabetes. In the present study, the authors assessed whether macronutrients and food groups are longitudinally associated with insulin sensitivity and secretion over a 2-y period in children with a family history of obesity, and whether associations differ by level of adiposity. Data were derived from the Quebec Adipose and Lifestyle Investigation in Youth (QUALITY) Study, an ongoing prospective cohort including 630 children recruited at ages 8-10 y, with ?1 obese parent, and followed 2 y later (n = 564). The intake of macronutrients and foods was assessed at baseline using three 24-h dietary recalls. At age 10-12 y, insulin sensitivity was assessed by the Matsuda Insulin Sensitivity Index (ISI) and the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance. Insulin secretion was assessed by the ratio of the area under the curve of insulin to the area under the curve of glucose at 30 min and at 120 min of an oral-glucose-tolerance test. Multivariable linear regression models were fitted for each dietary factor while adjusting for age, sex, puberty, physical activity, screen time, total energy intake, and percentage of body fat; and interaction terms between dietary factors and percentage of body fat were tested. Saturated fat intake was associated with a 1.95% lower (95% CI: -3.74%, -0.16%) Matsuda ISI, whereas vegetable and fruit intake was associated with a 2.35% higher (95% CI: 0.18%, 4.52%) Matsuda ISI 2 y later. The association of saturated fat intake with insulin sensitivity was most deleterious among children with a higher percentage of body fat (P-interaction = 0.023). Other than fibre intake, no longitudinal associations between dietary intake and insulin secretion were found. The authors concluded that lowering saturated fat and increasing vegetable and fruit intakes during childhood may improve insulin sensitivity as children enter puberty.

Authors: Van Hulst A, Paradis G, Harnois-Leblanc S, Benedetti A, Drapeau V, Henderson M. ; Full Source: Journal of Nutrition. 2018 Nov 1;148(11):1838-1844. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxy189.