Latino adolescents, who reduce their sugar intake and increase fibre in their diet can cut risk factors linked with type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.
The researchers claimed that reducing sugar intake by the equivalent of one can of soda per day and increasing fibre intake by the amount equivalent to one half cup of beans per day can reduce diabetes risk factors in Latino teens.
The background information in the study mentioned that almost 40 percent of Mexican American adolescents age 12 to 19 were overweight or at risk for overweight from 2003 to 2006.
"Latino children are more insulin resistant and thus more likely to develop obesity-related chronic diseases than their white counterparts," wrote the authors.
They added: "To date, only a few studies have examined the effects of a high-fibre, low-sugar diet on metabolic health in overweight youth, and to our knowledge, none have tested the effects of this type of intervention in a mixed-sex group of Latino youth."
The 16-week study was led by Emily Ventura, M.P.H., of Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
The researchers examined if reductions in added sugar intake or increases in fibre intake would affect risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes in 54 overweight Latino adolescents (average age 15.5).
They split the participants into three groups: control, nutrition (receiving one nutrition class per week) or nutrition plus strength training (receiving one nutrition class per week along with strength training twice a week).
It was found that participants, who decreased their sugar intake, had an average 33 percent decrease in insulin secretion, and those who increased their fibre intake had an average 10 percent reduction in visceral adipose tissue volume.
"A reduction in visceral fat indicates a reduction in risk for type 2 diabetes, considering that to a greater degree than total body fat, visceral fat [fat surrounding the internal organs] has been shown to be negatively associated with insulin sensitivity," noted the authors.
They wrote: "Those who increased fibre intake had a significant reduction in body mass index (-2 percent vs. 2 percent) and visceral adipose tissue (-10 percent vs. no change) compared with those who decreased fibre intake."
The study has been published in the Archives of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.