Eating a small portion of yoghurt every day may reduce diabetes risk, according to a large-scale diet study.
Harvard researchers analysed the eating habits of more than 194,000 people and noted a clear association between high yoghurt consumption and low risk of type 2 diabetes – a condition often linked to obesity.
They calculated that eating just 28g of yoghurt every day – less than a single multipack pot – was associated with an 18 per cent reduced risk. However, they said controlled trials would be needed to confirm cause and effect.
Previous studies have suggested that calcium, magnesium and certain fatty acids – all of which are found in dairy products – may help prevent diabetes.
However, the researchers from Harvard School of Public Health found no clear preventative effect from other dairy products.
Senior researcher Professor Frank Hu said that yoghurt could be “incorporated into a healthy dietary pattern”. The study was published in the journal BMC Medicine.
Approximately 366 million people are affected by type 2 diabetes worldwide, but the global rise of overweight and obesity could see the number increase to 552 million by 2030, placing a major burden on healthcare systems.
The NHS is estimated to spend up to £10bn annually treating diabetes.