Current Nutrition Reports

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 227–234 | Cite as

Dietary Interventions and Type 2 Diabetes in Youth: a Fresh Look at the Evidence

  • William B. Perkison
  • Joel A. Adekanye
  • Marcia C. de Oliveira OttoEmail author
Diabetes and Obesity (MC de Oliveira Otto, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Diabetes and Obesity


Purpose of Review

The incidence of type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents has sharply increased, highly influenced by prevalence of obesity in youth. Here, we provide an overview of the pathogenesis of diabetes, and summarize recent dietary interventions investigating effects of diet on metabolic risk factors in overweight and obese youth.

Recent Findings

Seven dietary interventions were identified randomly assigning participants to weekly or bi-weekly dietary counseling sessions over 12–24-week period, with mixed results. Four interventions showed significant reductions in fasting insulin and insulin resistance levels relative to baseline concentrations ranging from 26 to 50%.


Recent evidence is mixed, with four studies showing improvements to insulin concentrations and insulin resistance in obese children and adolescents associated with energy restriction and/or change to carbohydrate consumption. Further work is needed to investigate long-term effects of dietary factors including carbohydrate quality and energy restriction on metabolic health and diabetes prevention early in life.


Diabetes Diet Dietary interventions Youth Adolescents 



MO was supported by the American Heart Association under award number 7SDG33660771. WBP was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under award number 5T42OH008421-10 and by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases under award number 1R01DK109920-01A1.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

William B. Perkison, Joel A. Adekanye, and Marcia C. de Oliveira Otto declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any animal or human subject research performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • William B. Perkison
    • 1
  • Joel A. Adekanye
    • 1
  • Marcia C. de Oliveira Otto
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental SciencesThe University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public HealthHoustonUSA

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