Dietary Patterns and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in a First Nations Community

Jacqueline Reeds, Sudaba Mansuri, Mary Mamakeesick, Stewart B. Harris, Bernard Zinman, Joel Gittelsohn, Thomas M.S. Wolever, Phillip W. Connelly, Anthony Hanley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a growing concern worldwide, particularly in Indigenous communities, which have undergone a marked nutrition transition characterized by reduced intakes of traditional foods and increased intakes of market foods. Few studies have assessed the relationships between differing dietary patterns and risk for type 2 diabetes in Indigenous communities in Canada. The objective of the study was to characterize dietary patterns using factor analysis (FA) and to relate these patterns to the incidence of type 2 diabetes after 10 years of follow up in a First Nations community in Ontario, Canada. Methods We conducted a prospective analysis of 492 participants in the SLHDP who did not have diabetes at baseline (1993 to 1995) and were followed for 10 years. A food-frequency questionnaire was administered, and FA was used to identify patterns of food consumption. Multivariate logistic regression analyses determined associations of food patterns with incident type 2 diabetes, adjusting for sociodemographic and lifestyle confounders. Results At follow up, 86 participants had developed incident type 2 diabetes. FA revealed 3 prominent dietary patterns: Balanced Market Foods, Beef and Processed Foods and Traditional Foods. After adjustment for age, sex, waist circumference, interleukin-6 and adiponectin, the Beef and Processed Foods pattern was associated with increased risk for incident type 2 diabetes (OR=1.38; 95% CI 1.02, 1.86). In contrast, the Balanced Market Foods and Traditional Foods Patterns were not significantly associated with type 2 diabetes. Conclusions Dietary interventions should encourage reduced consumption of unhealthful market foods, in combination with improvements in local food environments so as to increase access to healthful foods and reduce food insecurity in Indigenous communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-310
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Diabetes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • First Nations
  • food patterns
  • indigenous
  • nutrition
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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