Association of dairy consumption patterns with the incidence of type 2 diabetes: Findings from Alberta's Tomorrow Project

  • Emad Yuzbashian
    Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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  • Mohammadreza Pakseresht
    Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    Cancer Research & Analytics, Cancer Care Alberta, Alberta Health Services, Alberta, Canada
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  • Jennifer Vena
    Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    Cancer Research & Analytics, Cancer Care Alberta, Alberta Health Services, Alberta, Canada
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  • Catherine B. Chan
    Corresponding author. 4-126 Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Innovation Research, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E1, Canada.
    Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    Department of Physiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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Published:October 03, 2022DOI:


      • Observational studies on dairy products and type 2 diabetes neglect consideration of the overall dairy intake habits of people.
      • It was the first time to analyze people's adherence to three to the three extracted dairy consumption patterns using PCA.
      • Men with a pattern characterized by high intake of whole milk, regular cheese, and non-fat milk had a lower incidence of T2D.


      Background and aims

      We aimed to extract dairy consumption patterns of men and women from a population-based cohort and then assess the association of each consumption pattern with incident T2D risk.

      Methods and results

      This prospective study was conducted within the framework of Alberta's Tomorrow Project (ATP), in which 8615 men and 15,016 women provided information on dietary intake by completing a food-frequency questionnaire at baseline, and then were followed up over time to determine the incidence of T2D via questionnaires. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to extract dairy consumption patterns (DCPs). The association between each extracted pattern and T2D incidence was estimated using multivariable logistic regression models.The incidence of T2D among men and women was 3.8 and 3.2%, respectively, and the mean duration of follow-up was 5.2 years. Three major DCPs were identified. After controlling for potential confounders, the OR for risk of T2D in men in the highest compared with those in the lowest quartile of the DCP3 (whole milk, regular cheese, and non-fat milk as a beverage and in cereal) was 0.64 (95%CI: 0.47 to 0.88, P-trend=0.001), whereas it was not significant for women. DCP1 and DCP2 were not associated with incident T2D in men or women.


      Adherence to a DCP characterized by higher consumption of whole milk, regular cheese, and non-fat milk was associated with decreased risk of incident T2D only in men. Our results support current evidence that a combination of different dairy products, regardless of their fat content, might be favorable for health maintenance, at least in men.


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