Adolescents living in the U.S. have a higher prevalence of obesity and type 2 Diabetes and are at higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy in adulthood.
Research was recently conducted to determine if there is a possible link between a typical Western diet and a predisposition to diabetic retinopathy. Adolescents now have a high prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes, placing them at higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy as an adult.
Researchers used 4-month-old Ossabaw minature pigs in the study and divided them into two groups: lean and diet-induced obesity. The obese pigs were fed a Western diet that was high in fat, calories and high-fructose corn syrup for 10 weeks. Blood samples were collected and evaluations of the retinas were conducted.
The study results showed that the pigs fed the Western diet had elevated fasting blood glucose and their retinas showed early signs of developing diabetic retinopathy.*