People who often eat food prepared at home are less likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes than those who consume such meals less frequently, new research has claimed. There is an increasing tendency for people to eat out, involving more consumption of fast food, researchers said.The study has found that such people have a diet rich in energy but relatively poor in nutrients -this could lead to weight gain which is, in turn, associated with type 2 diabetes risk, said Qi Sun, from the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Heath in the US.
Sun and his team employed large prospective datasets in which US health professionals were surveyed, with rigorous collection of data on health indicators, including eating habits and occurrence of diabetes. The results were corrected for factors that could affect dining habits, including marital status. The study analysed 2.1 million years of follow-up data.
The findings show people who reported consuming 5-7 evening meals prepared at home during a week had 15% lower risk of diabetes than those who consumed two such meals or fewer. A smaller, but statistically significant, reduction was apparent for those who consumed more midday meals at home.
Moreover, less weight gain could partially explain the reported reduction in occurrence of type 2 diabetes in those often eating meals prepared at home. Well-established diabetes prevention strategies include behavioural interventions aimed at increasing exercise and dietary habits.