Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2016 Jul 20;11(7):e0157990. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157990. eCollection 2016.

Meat Consumption and Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes in the SUN Project: A Highly Educated Middle-Class Population.

Author information

Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.
Nutrition Unit-Department of Endocrinology and Nutrition, Hospital de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.
CIBERobn, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.
IDISNA, Navarra's Research Health Institute, Pamplona, Spain.
Endocrinology Unit-Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Reina Sofia, Tudela, Spain.
Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Laureate International Universities, Madrid, Spain.



Meat consumption has been consistently associated with the risk of diabetes in different populations. The aim of our study was to investigate the incidence of type 2 diabetes according to baseline total meat consumption in a longitudinal assessment of a middle-aged Mediterranean population.


We followed 18,527 participants (mean age: 38 years, 61% women) in the SUN Project, an open-enrolment cohort of a highly educated population of middle-class Spanish graduate students. All participants were initially free of diabetes. Diet was assessed at baseline using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire of 136-items previously validated. Incident diabetes was defined according to the American Diabetes Association's criteria.


We identified 146 incident cases of diabetes after a maximum of 14 years of follow-up period (mean: 8.7 years). In the fully adjusted model, the consumption of ≥3 servings/day of all types of meat was significantly associated with a higher risk of diabetes (HR: 1.85; 95% CI: 1.03-3.31; p for trend = 0.031) in comparison with the reference category (<2 servings/day). When we separated processed from non-processed meat, we observed a non-significant higher risk associated with greater consumption of processed meat and a non-significant lower risk associated with non-processed meat consumption (p for trend = 0.123 and 0.487, respectively). No significant difference was found between the two types of meat (p = 0.594).


Our results suggest that meat consumption, especially processed meat, was associated with a higher risk of developing diabetes in our young Mediterranean cohort.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center