The Coffee and Health Diabetes Report is now in its third year, having first been produced following a symposium at the World Congress on Prevention of Diabetes, held in 2012. Each year, the report is updated to include new published studies which add to the body of research in this field.
DRWF asked Pam Dyson, Specialist Diabetes Dietitian at Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism and author of the DRWF leaflet A healthy diet and diabetes, to comment. She said: “The association between coffee drinking and a reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes has now been reported in a number of studies, suggesting that coffee drinking may play a role in reducing risk.
“However, it is important to remember that this research is based on epidemiological evidence, meaning that a large selection of people are asked questions about what they eat and drink, and then they are followed up for a number of years to see who develops diabetes. We don't have any evidence from what is considered the gold standard in medical research, the randomised controlled trial (RCT), where some people would be told to drink coffee and others to avoid coffee to see if the coffee drinkers developed less diabetes. Unfortunately, RCTs are almost impossible to carry out for dietary studies as they need controlled conditions, present issues with compliance and have to be carried out over a long period of time.
“There are some other issues with the epidemiological approach. It cannot tell us what it is in coffee that is causing this effect, and whether or not there is something else that coffee drinkers do that may be reducing their risk of diabetes.
“Overall, in terms of diabetes risk, we do have strong evidence from RCTs that people who lose weight, increase their activity and adopt a healthy diet can reduce their risk by 50%, whether they are drinking coffee or not.”
Further information on coffee and diabetes can be found on the Coffee and Health website: www.coffeeandhealth.org.
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