Research released Monday by Tufts University found that poor diet led to 14.1 million new cases of Type 2 diabetes worldwide in 2018 alone.
The study looked at 11 dietary factors and determined that three were leading causes among those developing Type 2 diabetes. Those factors include: Insufficient intake of whole grains, excesses of refined rice and wheat, and the overconsumption of processed meat, Tufts University said.
Researchers added that other factors, such as consuming too much fruit juice, had less of an impact.
The study revealed that poor diet was responsible for 70% of all new cases of Type 2 diabetes in 2018.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that there are 37 million Americans with diabetes, at least 90% of them have Type 2.
Globally, the number of people with diabetes increased from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014, which represents the World Health Organization's most updated findings.
"Our study suggests poor carbohydrate quality is a leading driver of diet-attributable type 2 diabetes globally, and with important variation by nation and over time," says senior author Dariush Mozaffarian, Jean Mayer professor of nutrition at Tufts. "These new findings reveal critical areas for national and global focus to improve nutrition and reduce devastating burdens of diabetes."
The study's authors noted that previous studies determined that 40% of Type 2 diabetes cases globally are attributed to a suboptimal diet. The authors said this study differed because it found that refined grains was a leading factor in causing Type 2 diabetes.