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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009 Apr;163(4):320-7. doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.11.

Reduction in risk factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus in response to a low-sugar, high-fiber dietary intervention in overweight Latino adolescents.

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  • 1Department of PreventiveMedicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 2250 Alcazar Street, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9008, USA.



To examine if reductions in added sugar intake or increases in fiber intake in response to a 16-week intervention were related to improvements in metabolic outcomes related to type 2 diabetes mellitus risk.


Secondary analysis of a randomized control trial.


Intervention classes at a lifestyle laboratory and metabolic measures at the General Clinical Research Center.


Fifty-four overweight Latino adolescents (mean [SD] age, 15.5 [1] years). Intervention Sixteen-week study with 3 groups: control, nutrition, or nutrition plus strength training.


Body composition by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry; visceral adipose tissue by magnetic resonance imaging; glucose and insulin incremental area under the curve by oral glucose tolerance test; insulin sensitivity, acute insulin response, and disposition index by intravenous glucose tolerance test; and dietary intake by 3-day records.


Fifty-five percent of all participants decreased added sugar intake (mean decrease, 47 g/d) and 59% increased fiber intake (mean increase, 5 g/d), and percentages were similar in all intervention groups, including controls. Those who decreased added sugar intake had an improvement in glucose incremental area under the curve (-15% vs +3%; P = .049) and insulin incremental area under the curve (-33% vs -9%; P = .02). Those who increased fiber intake had an improvement in body mass index (-2% vs +2%; P = .01) and visceral adipose tissue (-10% vs no change; P = .03).


Individuals who reduced added sugar intake by the equivalent of 1 can of soda per day or increased fiber intake by the equivalent of a cup of beans showed improvements in key risk factors for type 2 diabetes, specifically in insulin secretion and visceral fat. Improvements occurred independent of group assignment and were equally likely to occur in control group participants.

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