Impact of intra-category food substitutions on the risk of type 2 diabetes: a modelling study on the pizza category.
- Deep Digital Phenotyping Research Unit
Advice on replacing unhealthy foods with healthier alternatives within the same food category may be more acceptable and might ease the transition towards a healthy diet. Here, we studied the potential impact of substitutions within the pizza category on the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). The study sample consisted of 2,510 adults from the INCA2 French national survey. Based on their nutritional characteristics, the 353 pizzas marketed in France were grouped in 100 clusters that were used to run various scenarios of pizza substitutions, which were either isoenergetic (IE) or non-isoenergetic (NIE). We then used a model structurally similar to the Preventable Risk Integrated ModEl (PRIME) to assess the expected rate of change in risk of T2D. Pizzas characterized by a low energy, high vegetable content and whole grain dough were associated with a greater reduction in the risk of T2D. The rates of change in risk of T2D were markedly stronger in men and for NIE substitutions. When the rates of change were estimated in the subsample of pizza consumers, replacing the observed pizzas with the best pizza resulted in a T2D risk reduction of -6.7% (-8.4%; -4.9%, IE) and -8.9% (-11.2%; -6.3%, NIE), assuming that this is their usual diets. The greatest risk reduction induced by an IE substitution of the observed pizza with a mixed dish was similar to that observed with the best pizzas. Overall, this modelling study suggests that healthy swaps within a category can effectively supplement broader dietary changes toward a healthier diet.