Skip to content

    Diabetes Health Center

    Font Size

    Ethnicity Alters Diabetes Risks

    Changes in Weight, Diet May Affect Blacks, Asians, Hispanics Differently Than Whites

    Squaring the Numbers

    What do all those numbers mean? Here's what the researchers found when they took a closer look at the data.

    Asians had the lowest average BMI. But they had the steepest rise in diabetes risk of any ethnic group if they gained weight after age 18.

    "Weight gain is particularly detrimental for Asians," the researchers write. They suggest "lower cutoff BMI values are needed to identify Asians at a higher risk of diabetes."

    Meanwhile, blacks had the highest average BMI. But BMI seemed to have less impact on diabetes risk for them than it did for whites, according to the study.

    Still, "In conclusion, after accounting for BMI, our study indicates that Asians, Hispanics, and blacks were all at higher risk for type 2 diabetes than whites," the researchers write.

    Healthy Diet Helps

    The diet surveys added more clues.

    Healthy diets -- those that emphasized fiber and unsaturated fats while minimizing trans fats and items that spike blood sugar -- apparently cut diabetes risk more for blacks, Hispanics, and Asians than for whites.

    "These results suggest that dietary intervention may be particularly effective for diabetes prevention among minorities, although this hypothesis needs to be tested in future studies," Shai's team writes.

    The researchers note two limits to their study: The nurses might not have reported their information perfectly, and they may not represent all women in their age group.

    1 | 2

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
    kenneth fujioka, md
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Middle aged person
    jennie brand miller

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    type 2 diabetes
    food fitness planner