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Wednesday, 8 November, 2023

Is salt really a new culprit in type 2 diabetes? — The Conversation

When people think of foods related to type 2 diabetes, they often think of sugar (even though the evidence for that is still not clear). Now, a new study from the US points the finger at salt.

The study, conducted by researchers at Tulane University in New Orleans, used data on about 400,000 adults, taken from the UK Biobank study. The researchers followed the participants for nearly twelve years. In that time, around 13,000 developed type 2 diabetes.

In a press release, the principal investigator on the study said that “taking the saltshaker off the table can help prevent type 2 diabetes”. But is it really as simple as that?

For a start, this type of study, called an observational study, cannot prove that one thing causes another, only that one thing is related to another. (There could be other factors at play.) So it is not appropriate to say removing the saltshaker “can help prevent”.

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