In developed countries, the health outcome most under scrutiny with respect to food intake is macrovascular disease. Since food is so complex, global indices of food intake are required to assess the relation. In the present study, an index of food variety was examined for its ability to predict changes in the arterial wall. Arterial wall indices were measured noninvasively by Doppler ultrasound in patient with Type II diabetes and in matched apparently healthy subjects. Each subject kept a 7-day food record, which was cross-checked by a nutritionist so as to calculate an index of food variety. The arterial wall indices measured were compliance over the aorto-iliac segment and pulse wave damping at the common femoral and posterior tibial arteries. Significant correlations, both parametric and nonparametric, were found between total food variety, and plant food variety, and each arterial wall index when the diabetics and apparently healthy subjects were grouped together (p less than 0.01 in all cases for total variety and at least less than 0.05 for plant food variety). Between 13 and 19% of the variance in arterial wall indices was explained by food variety.