There are numerous studies showing that dietary habits may be associated with diabetes, but results are inconsistent. Besides, relationship between diabetes and certain foods and dietary factors is still complex and unclear. The aim of this work was to assess the relationship between dietary habits and diabetes mellitus prevalence in the Serbian population. This research was designed as a secondary analysis of database provided by the National Health Survey conducted in Serbia in 2013. We performed multivariable logistic regression, where the independent variable was the diet, and the results presented as odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Association between diet and diabetes mellitus prevalence was evaluated separately among men and women. The study sample consisted of 14,623 participants, 6759 (46.2%) men and 7864 (53.8%) women. Prevalence of diabetes mellitus was 8.4%, significantly more frequent in women (8.8%) than in men (7.9%), p=0.049. The use of vegetable oil was significantly associated with diabetes mellitus in both men (OR=1.35, 95% CI=1.08-1.68; p=0.008) and in women (OR=1.49, 95% CI=1.21-1.82; p=0.000). The use of margarine for food preparation was associated with a lower prevalence of diabetes mellitus only in men (OR=0.22, 95% CI=0.05-0.93; p=0.039). Bread consumption was associated with a higher prevalence of diabetes mellitus in both sexes (p <0.05). Fruit consumption was associated with a lower prevalence of diabetes mellitus in men (p <0.01), but no association was found in women. No association was found between milk and fish intake and the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in either males or females. Consequently, adherence to a healthy dietary pattern at the population and individual level should be encouraged.
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