• Gabriele Riccardi
  • Angela Rivellese


The prevalence of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus is very different throughout the world: It is particularly high in Western industrialized countries—the so-called affluent societies—whereas it is low in less industrialized and less wealthy countries, such as India, South America, and rural Africa. Furthermore, the incidence of diabetes sharply increased in some populations, such as the Indian tribes living in North America or the aborigines of Oceania, who were forced to a rather abrupt change in life-style as a consequence of the so-called civilization process (West 1978; WHO 1985). These populations had to adapt themselves to a new social and economic situation and, among other things, to a radical change in dietary habits. The consumption of natural unrefined foods (particularly rich in dietary fiber) declined and these people were rapidly exposed to the so-called Western diet, poor in complex carbohydrate and dietary fiber, and rich in fat, especially saturated fat. Such examples indicate that there is a close relationship between life-style, including dietary habits, and the risk of diabetes.


Diabetic Patient Dietary Habit Eating Habit Mediterranean Diet Complex Carbohydrate 
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© Van Nostrand Reinhold 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriele Riccardi
  • Angela Rivellese

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