Does Consumption of Refined Carbohydrates Predict the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Introduction: Type two diabetes mellitus is a highly prevalent health disorder among adult males and females worldwide. There is consistent evidence that unhealthy diets and physical inactivity play an essential role in the development of this condition. Many people consume refined carbohydrates as part of their daily meals. However, the evidence on whether refined carbohydrates predict type two diabetes mellitus is inconclusive. This study aims to provide evidence on the association between refined carbohydrates and the incidence of type two diabetes mellitus. Material and Methods: The literature search through PubMed, Embase, CINHAL, and Scopus identified prospective cohort studies that associated refined carbohydrate intake with the incidence of type two diabetes mellitus in non-diabetic participants. We then summarized the evidence by performing a systematic review and meta-analysis. Results: A systematic review and a meta-analysis were conducted for prospective cohort studies that examined the intake of refined carbohydrates and the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Eight articles were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. Our findings from the systematic review suggest that a significant link exists between high consumption of refined carbohydrates, especially white rice and diabetes development. In the meta-analysis, the random-effects model of included studies suggests a positive linkage between refined carbohydrate intake and the incidence of type two diabetes mellitus with a pooled RR = 1.33, 95% CI [1.18, 1.48]. Conclusions: Consumption of high amounts of refined carbohydrates is significantly associated with increased incidence of type 2 diabetes. Reducing refined carbohydrates and improved information about their risk and access to this information may prevent diabetes development worldwide.