Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and obesity are co-morbid metabolic disorders with increasing prevalence. Disease is linked to genetics in some individuals, but how dietary excess leads to the development of T2D is unclear. Musselman et al. report a new Drosophila model that permits close examination of factors linking a high-sugar diet with the development of obesity and insulin resistance. Fly larvae reared on excess sugars – but not those reared on excess fats or proteins – developed metabolic phenotypes resembling T2D. Many of the genes and pathways implicated in T2D in humans are also differentially expressed in flies reared on excess sugar. This system will be useful for high-throughput screens to identify genes and drug candidates that influence diet-induced insulin resistance. Page 842
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