Diet and lifestyle contribute to diabetes, but so does family history. So Australian researchers undertook an unusual experiment: They recruited healthy volunteers from families with and without a history of Type 2 diabetes and overfed them.

The trial involved 41 men and women, about half of whom had diabetes in their immediate families. The volunteers were asked to eat a high—fat diet loaded with 1,250 calories a day beyond what they needed.

The study was published in the journal Diabetologia.

“Type 2 diabetes is both an environmental and a genetic disease,'' said the paper's senior author, Leonie K. Heilbronn, an associate professor of nutritional physiology at University of Adelaide in Australia. ``So people who know they have a history of this should be extra diligent about eating right and exercising more.'' (NYT)