Document Type



Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a common condition whose incidence is increasing worldwide, and for which obesity and diet are important risk factors. The aim of this study was to assess the association of three diet quality scores with diabetes risk and how much of the association was mediated through body size. The Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study recruited 41,513 men and women aged 40–69 years during 1990–1994. At baseline, data were collected on lifestyle and diet, anthropometric measures were performed. Incident diabetes was assessed by self-report at follow-up surveys in 1994–1998 and 2003–2007. The associations between the dietary inflammatory index (DII®), Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index—2010 and incident diabetes were assessed using Poisson regression, adjusting for age, sex, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, socio-economic status (area based) and family history of diabetes. Data from 39,185 participants were included in the analysis and 1989 cases of diabetes were identified. Both DII and AHEI-2010 were associated with diabetes incidence, but MDS was not. In the top quintile of DII (most pro-inflammatory) vs. the least inflammatory quintile IRR was 1.49 95% CI (1.30, 1.72), p trend across quintiles <0.001. For AHEI-2010 the IRR was 0.67 (0.58, 0.78), p trend <0.001 for the healthiest vs. the least healthy quintile. Mediation analysis indicated that body size (body mass index/waist to hip ratio) mediated 35–48% of the association with incident diabetes for the AHEI and DII. Healthier diets may reduce risk of diabetes both by reducing weight gain and other mechanisms such as reducing inflammation.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).

APA Citation

Hodge, A. M., Karim, M. N., Hébert, J. R., Shivappa, N., & de Courten, B. (2021). Association between Diet Quality Indices and incidence of type 2 diabetes in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. Nutrients, 13(11), 4162.