Specific patterns of food consumption and preparation are associated with diabetes and obesity in a Native Canadian community

Joel Gittelsohn, Thomas M.S. Wolever, Stewart B. Harris, Robert Harris-Giraldo, Anthony J.G. Hanley, Bernard Zinman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


We examined the relationship between usual patterns of food intake, fattiness of food preparation and consumption, and diabetes and obesity status in a Native Canadian reserve in northwestern Ontario. Patterns of intake were estimated using a 34-item food frequency instrument. Scales and scores were developed using factor analysis procedures and were tested for reliability using coefficient alpha. Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and diabetes status was determined by administering a 75-g glucose tolerance test. A number of the food groups appear to have a protective effect in regard to IGT and diabetes, including vegetables [odds ratio (OR) = 0.41, confidence interval (CI = 0.18-0.91], breakfast foods (OR = 0.41, CI = 0.18- 0.93) and hot meal foods (OR = 0.29, CI = 0.11-0.78). Most of these foods are relatively high in fiber and low in fat. High consumption of junk foods and the bread and butter group was associated with substantial increases in risk for diabetes (OR = 2.40, CI = 1.13-5.10; OR = 2.22, CI = 1.22-4.41, respectively). These foods tend to be high in simple sugars, low in fiber and high in fat. More fatty methods of food preparation are also associated with increased risk for diabetes in this population (OR = 2.58, CI = 1.11-6.02). This information has been incorporated into an ongoing community-based diabetes prevention program in the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-547
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1998


  • Diabetes
  • Diet
  • Food frequency
  • Food preparation
  • Native Americans
  • Native Canadians
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Specific patterns of food consumption and preparation are associated with diabetes and obesity in a Native Canadian community'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this