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What a U.S. diet and a week in bed gives you: type 2 diabetes?

By Rachel O'Regan and Brooke Rooney |


Keys2words - Study: Men ate a “common U.S. diet” and developed warning signs of type 2 diabetes in TWO DAYS

  • A “common U.S. diet” could lead to , according to one quirky experiment on six people.
  • Six healthy, non-obese men were bed bound and ate over 6,000 calories of junk food a day… all in the name of science.
  • At the end of the one week study, the subjects gained an average of 3.5 kilos each!

Pizza, hamburgers and junk food, oh my! While the 6-person-strong sample study is not what we’d call “gold-standard science”, we were very intrigued by the rapid health effects of a “common U.S. diet”. How rapid? All six men developed warning signs of type 2 diabetes after just TWO DAYS.

Researchers from Temple University, Philadelphia, have shown how rapidly can arise from a diet of processed, empty-calorie non-foods. In as little as one to two days, six healthy men developed “severe systemic and adipose tissue insulin resistance”, which is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. They also gained an average of 3.5 kilos after just one week on the so-called “common U.S. diet”.

The diet, apparently run-of-the-mill in the U.S. (our own in-house American, Brooke, vouched for this), included huge servings of pizza, hamburgers and junk food. It totalled over 6,000 calories a day, twice their regular intake, despite containing very little nutritional value. It’s also important to note that the men were bed bound in hospital for the entire duration of the week-long study.  

Obviously, this is a very small sample study (how many healthy people would voluntarily subject their bodies to that?) but we still think the acute health effects the men experienced speaks volumes about the impact of food on our health. After all, we doubt they’d have the same kind of results on a diet of fresh vegies! #JERF

While we’re not 100 per cent surprised by these results, we would definitely be interested in taking a sneaky look at exactly what these subjects ate. What would your best guesses be?

Please be respectful of other participants in the conversation. We'd love you to keep your comments respectful, friendly and relevant. Differences of opinion are welcome, but trolling and abuse of other commentators and the IQS editorial team is not and will result in blacklisting.

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