Nowadays, more and more people like to eat out. It is convenient, and people can have more food choices.
However, a recent study shows that people eating meals prepared at home have lower risk of type 2 diabetes. The finding is published in PLOS Medicine.
Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School conducted the study.
They followed 58,051 women (from 1986 to 2012) and 41,676 men (from 1986 to 2010) in two large national studies. Participants reported their eating behavior and health conditions.
During the follow-up time period, 9,325 people were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Importantly, the risk of diabetes decreased as the frequency of eating food prepared at home per week increased.
Participants eating 5–7 midday meals prepared at home every week had 9% lower type 2 diabetes risk than those with 0–2 midday meals prepared at home every week.
Furthermore, participants having 5–7 evening meals prepared at home every week had 15% lower risk than those with 0–2 evening meals prepared at home every week.
Eating meals at home was also linked to less weight gain. In the first 8 years of follow-up, women and men who consumed 11–14 meals prepared at home per week had 0.34 kg and 1.23 kg less weight gain than those with 0–6 meals prepared at home per week, respectively.
Researchers suggest that eating food prepared at home can help increase diet quality, reduce weight gain, and lower diabetes risk.
Currently, well-established diabetes prevention strategies include behavioral interventions aimed at increasing exercise and improving dietary habits.
This finding suggests that the nutritional and lifestyle benefits of eating food prepared at home may contribute to these diabetes prevention efforts.
Citation: Zong G, et al. (2016). Consumption of Meals Prepared at Home and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: An Analysis of Two Prospective Cohort Studies. PLoS Medicine, 13: e1002052. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002052.
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