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Embracing complexity: making sense of diet, nutrition, obesity and type 2 diabetes – published online 14/02/2023

Forouhi graphical abstract

Nita G. Forouhi

Diet and nutrition are critical for the prevention and mitigation of type 2 diabetes. However, the research evidence and its implementation have been challenging, partly because of the plethora of information and apparently conflicting dietary strategies. In this issue, Nita Forouhi ( reviews the evidence on the role of dietary components in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes and obesity. The review cuts through the complexity of, and challenges of measuring, diet and investigates the impact of diet using robust study designs. The author concludes that it is unhelpful to play off one nutrient against another, such as favouring a low-fat or a low-carbohydrate diet. Instead, the review suggests the importance of nutrient type or quality, nutrient food sources in food-based guidelines and the relevance of overall dietary patterns, as well as taking into account dietary adherence and longer term effects. Important areas of consensus on effective dietary strategies are highlighted and future directions are considered. The figure from this review is available as a downloadable slide.

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