Higher plain water intake is associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk: a cross-sectional study in humans

Harriet A. Carroll, Mark G. Davis, Angeliki Papadaki (Corresponding Author)

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36 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between plain water intake and type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk. It was hypothesized that higher plain water intake would be associated with a lower T2D risk score. One hundred thirty-eight adults from Southwest and Southeast England answered a cross-sectional online survey assessing T2D risk (using the Diabetes UK risk assessment); physical activity (using the short International Physical Activity Questionnaire); and consumption of fruits, vegetables, and beverages (using an adapted version of the Cambridge European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Food Frequency Questionnaire). There was a trend for differences in mean plain water intake between those stratified as having low, increased, moderate, or high risk of T2D; but these did not achieve significance (P = .084). However, plain water intake was significantly negatively correlated with T2D risk score (τ = −0°180, P = .005); and for every 240-mL cup of water consumed per day, T2D risk score was reduced by 0.72 point (range, 0-47) (B = −0.03, 95% confidence interval = −0.06 to −0.01, P = .014). The current study has provided preliminary results that are supported by theory; mechanisms need to be explored further to determine the true effect of plain water intake on disease risk. As increasing plain water intake is a simple and cost-effective dietary modification, its impact on T2D risk is important to investigate further in a randomized controlled trial. Overall, this study found that plain water intake had a significant negative correlation with T2D risk score; and regression analysis suggested that water may have a role in reducing T2D risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-872
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number10
Early online date2 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

The study was approved by the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee at the University of Bristol. The authors would like to thank all the organizations who helped to disseminate the survey. We would also like to thank Diabetes UK for allowing us to use the diabetes risk assessment tool and the FFQ and IPAQ for being available to use.

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


  • Cross-sectional studies
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Type 2
  • Humans
  • Lifestyle
  • Risk assessment
  • Water


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