This paper will discuss the article Low-carbohydrate-diet score and risk of type 2 diabetes in women found in the American journal of clinical nutrition. The authors are; Thomas L Halton1, Simin Liu1, JoAnn E Manson1, and Frank B Hu1. The date of publication is; February 2008. The research is based in the United States of America’s population and the information was gathered through the use of questionnaire
Subjects and Methods used in the study
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The subjects in this study were women from the general US population; the first study was administered to 700 female registered nurses between the ages of 30 – 55. Among the nurses, ninety-eight percent of them were white which reflected their numbers in the US registry of nurses at the time. The research began with the 700 nurses and at the end of the study around 85,000 nurses were incorporated in the study.
The questionnaires were handed to the nurses in 1976 and information about their health was gathered after every two years. The information which was being collected also included lifestyle factors. In order to watch what they were eating their diet was assessed through semi quantitative food frequency questionnaires (SFFQ) evenly from 1980 to 1998. The study took approximately 22 years from 1976 to 1998 as described above. The subjects of the study were humans of the female gender.
Conclusions from the study
The study was aimed to determine whether a diet containing a low-carbohydrate score could cause type 2 diabetes. The researchers carefully determined the low-carbohydrate-diet score from the percentage of energy among nutrients in food. The correlation between the diet score and type2 diabetes was the sole purpose of the research. While compiling the results spanning impressive twenty years they recorded 4670 cases of type 2 diabetes. They concluded that if the diet is lower in carbohydrate and higher in the other nutrients, namely fat and proteins does not increase the chances of type 2 diabetes. It was even recommended that they should eat food rich in vegetable sources of fat and protein and this would slightly reduce the chances of getting the disease.
The research was a result of the influence of a recent finding among the US demographic which state that obesity is a serious public health concern. People trying to lose weight in America include 45% of women and 20% of men and all of them are trying several diets in efforts of shedding the extra weight. Certain types of diets have been suggested by medical and research societies for weight management purposes. A popular option in reducing weight is the low-carbohydrate diet and is being promoted by authors of best selling novels.
The authors of this article admit that the long-term effects of a low-carbohydrate diet are yet to be established. The intake of this causes increase in fat intakes and a notable decrease in wholegrain consumption. This change in diet increases the chance of type2 diabetes in humans and the American Diabetes Association supports a low-fat intake to prevent the disease.
A low-carbohydrate-diet score was created by the research team, and women were subdivided into deciles of fat, carbohydrate and protein intake. This was a basis for the calculation of energy consumed by the subjects. The highest and lowest scores were taken for each nutrient and were to determine how a subject maintained the nutrient in her diet. For example, a low-carbohydrate –score represents how the subject followed a low-carbohydrate-score.
A baseline was developed using the SFFQ (which was used to record the types of food items consumed), and it included 61 food items and the results were validated through subsequent years. In the years which followed the food items increased to double the initial number. For each individual food item, the participants were asked the frequency of consumption, the data collected was arranged in ranges for each month and food item. The food composition values for the study were obtained from Harvard University database, and the data was supplemented by manufacturer’s information for each food item. Determining the glycemic load for the carbohydrate consumption was used to represent both the quality and quantity of carbohydrates ingested. Each value of the glycemic load represents an equivalent amount of pure glucose or white bread.
Carbohydrate-diet score might a small piece to the puzzle of what undoubtedly causes type2 diabetes. Other factors such as the lifestyle and genetic composition of individuals had to be included. The family history of the disease was collected especially that of the first-degree relatives. The use of certain drugs such as postmenopausal hormones, cigarettes and the body weight was recorded after every two years. Also, physical activities conducted by the subjects were documented including their frequency and average number of hours per day.
The expected result from this study was the incident type2 diabetes mellitus. If a case of the disease was reported by any of the participants, an additional questionnaire regarding the symptoms and modes of treatment. Although the incidences of the disease were less than expected, 4670 out of 85,000 participants, the research concluded that there was no correlation between the diet score and type2 disease. Majority of women the same age, it was established that any change to the carbohydrate-diet score could not be associated to type2 diabetes. The data is true for obese and non- obese women the disease was more inclined to people who had risky lifestyles involving drugs, a family history of the disease and did not participate in physical activities. The risk of being diabetic reduces when vegetables are used as the source of such nutrients rather than animals.
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