Arnold Vang


The prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes in the US has been estimated at more than 16 million individuals (King, 1998). This has led to research into lifestyle practices (Astrup, 2001; Touomilehto, 2001), which has identified several of primary prevention. High fat diet and type 2 diabetes has been attributed to the wellareas known mechanisms of hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinaemia and insulin resistance (Ferrannini, 1999; Reaven, 1988).

We examined the association between all animal product consumption, specific animal product consumption and diabetes incidence among California Seventh-day Adventists who were cohort members of the Adventist Mortality Study (Kahn, 1984) and the Adventist Health Study (Hammond, 1966). This study also enabled us to relate long term vegetarian dietary patterns to diabetes incidence.

Respondents who were weekly consumers of all meats were 29% (OR=1.29; 95% Cl: 1.08, 1.55) more likely (relative to zero meat intake) to develop diabetes. Respondents who consumed processed meats were 38% (OR=1.38; 95% Cl: 1.05-1.82) likely to develop diabetes. Long-term adherence to weekly meat intake was associated with a 74% increase (OR=1.74; 95% Cl: 1.36-2.22) in odds of diabetes relative to long-term adherence to a vegetarian diet. Respondents who changed from vegetarian in 1960 to non-vegetarian in 1976 were more than twice as likely (OR=2.66; 95% Cl: 1.79-3.95) to develop diabetes. Body mass index in 1960 and change in weight between 1960 and 1976 attenuated the association of meat intake and diabetes (OR=1.85; more 95% Cl: 1.19-2.89). Increasing meat intake to weekly consumption among vegetarians or occasional meat consumers lead to a 3-fold increase in the likelihood of weight gain of 10 kg or more over a 17-year interval. Eliminating meat intake over a 17-year interval was associated with a two-fold increase in likelihood of a 10 kg weight loss.

Our findings raise the possibility that consumption of red meat, poultry, or processed meats, is a dietary risk factor for diabetes. Also, the change in diet patterns may be linked to factors leading to the development of diabetes. Individuals who consume meat products may have a risk for diabetes because adults who consume meat products are not maintaining healthy weight.


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Jerry W. Lee

Second Advisor

Pramil N. Singh

Third Advisor

Ella H. Haddad

Fourth Advisor

Charles H. Brinegar

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Diabetes Mellitus -- diet therapy; Diet, Vegetarian



Page Count

xii; 160

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives