Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Endocrine. 2012 Feb;41(1):76-81. doi: 10.1007/s12020-011-9527-5. Epub 2011 Oct 9.

High cortisol levels are associated with low quality food choice in type 2 diabetes.

Author information

  • 1Brain, Obesity and Diabetes Laboratory (BODyLab), New York University School of Medicine, 145 East 32nd Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10016, USA. michelle.duong@nyu.edu


Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis control may be impaired in type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Glucocorticoids increase consumption of low quality foods high in calories, sugar, and fat. We explored the relationship between cortisol levels, poor blood glucose control, and food quality choice in T2DM. Twenty-seven healthy controls were age-, gender- and education-matched to 27 T2DM participants. Standard clinical blood tests and cortisol values were measured from fasting blood samples. Participants recorded all consumed food and drink items in a consecutive 3-day food diary. Diaries were analyzed for "high quality" and "low quality" foods using a standardized method with high reliability (0.97 and 0.86, respectively). Controlling for education, body mass index (BMI) and hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C), log-transformed cortisol (LogC) predicted the percent of low quality foods (R (2) = 0.092, β = 0.360, P < 0.05), but not the percent of high quality foods chosen. Controlling for education, BMI, and LogC, HbA1C significantly predicted both the percent of low quality foods (ΔR (2) = 0.079, β = 0.348, P = 0.024) and high quality foods chosen (ΔR (2) = 0.085, β = -0.362, P = 0.022). The relationship between HbA1C and low quality food choice may be mediated by cortisol, controlling for BMI and education (P < 0.01). HbA1C displayed both an indirect (cortisol-mediated) effect (P < 0.05) and direct effect on low quality food choice (P < 0.05). The relationship between HbA1C and low quality food choice may be partially mediated by cortisol. Poor blood glucose control may cause HPA axis disruption, increased consumption of low quality foods.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk