Public Release: 

Eating more homemade meals may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes

American Heart Association Meeting Report Abstract 17285 (Poster S 2020) Hall A2

American Heart Association

ORLANDO, Florida, Nov. 8, 2015 -- If you eat more meals prepared at home, you may reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2015.

People who ate about two homemade lunches or dinners each day -- or about 11-14 meals a week -- had a 13 percent lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to people who ate less than six homemade lunches or dinners a week. Type 2 diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease.

Researchers didn't have enough information to include breakfast patterns. They analyzed data from nearly 58,000 women in the Nurses' Health Study and more than 41,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and followed for up to 36 years (1986-2012).

None of the participants had diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer at the beginning of the study.

"The trend for eating commercially prepared meals in restaurants or as take-out in the United States has increased significantly over the last 50 years," said Geng Zong, Ph.D., a research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. "At the same time, Type 2 diabetes rates have also increased."

Accumulating studies have suggested that eating out, especially in fast food chain restaurants, is associated with lower diet quality and higher body weight in children and young adults. In the current study, the researchers demonstrated that eating homemade meals was associated with less weight gain over eight years in these middle-aged and older health professionals. Overweight and obesity are risk factors for cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

While researchers don't provide a specific number of homemade meals people should eat each week, Zong said "more could be better."


This news release is featured in an 8 a.m. ET news conference on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015

Co-authors are David Eisenberg, M.D.; Frank Hu, M.D., Ph.D. and Qi Sun, M.D., ScD. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

This study is funded by National Institutes of Health.

Note: Actual presentation time of Abstract 17285 is 9 a.m. ET, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015.

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: (214) 706-1173
AHA News Media Office, Nov. 7-11, 2015
at the Orange County Convention Center: (407) 685-5401
For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and
Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.