- •A low adherence to diet is frequently found in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM).
- •We evaluated the attitudes of 500 T2DM patients towards the provided dietary plan.
- •Few T2DM patients declared to fully adhere to the prescribed diet.
- •Unexpectedly, one third of patients did not even perceive the given plan as a diet.
- •Attitudes towards diet were related to age, sex, BMI, HbA1c and educational level.
Background and aims
Few studies have evaluated the attitudes of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) towards the given dietary plans. In this study, we aimed to evaluate: i) the self-reported adherence of T2DM patients to the prescribed diets; ii) the use of other types of diet schemes; iii) the patients' preferences towards the type of meal plans.
Methods and results
A 16 multiple-choice items questionnaire was administered to 500 T2DM patients; 71.2% (356/500) of them had the perception of having received a dietary plan; only 163/356 declared to be fully adherent. The latter had lower BMI (25.8 ± 4.5 vs 29.1 ± 4.5 kg/m2, p < 0.001) than patients who were partly adherent. Among patients not following the given diet, 61.8% was eating in accordance to a self-made diet and 20.9% did not follow any diet. Only a few patients (2.4%) had tried a popular diet/commercial program. Most patients preferred either a “sufficiently free” (201/500) or a “free” (218/500) scheme. The use of supplements attracted younger, obese individuals, with higher education, and most managers. In a multinomial regression model, age and diabetes duration were inversely associated with the choice of a “rigid” scheme, diabetes duration and glycated hemoglobin levels were inversely correlated with a “free” diet choice, obesity was associated with a “strategic” scheme choice, while lower education (inversely) and obesity (directly) correlated with the preference for “supplement use”.
Socio-cultural/individual factors could affect attitudes and preferences of T2DM patients towards diet. These factors should be considered in order to draw an individually tailored dietary plan.
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Published online: June 01, 2017
Accepted: May 22, 2017
Received in revised form: May 21, 2017
Received: March 9, 2017
© 2017 The Italian Society of Diabetology, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, and the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.