Reviews and reports

People with diabetes not offered dietary advice

Friday, October 31, 2014

More than half of people with diabetes are not offered sufficient dietary advice upon diagnosis, according to a survey carried out to support the healthy eating message of this year’s World Diabetes Day.

Diabetes is a condition where the body cannot control blood sugar levels because of problems with the hormone insulin, with three million people in the UK affected.

Yet, 53 per cent of newly diagnosed people with diabetes were not given adequate information and guidance about how to best control the condition and minimise the risks of complications, including potential coma-inducing blood sugar lows, foot amputations and blindness.

A further of 53 per cent were also not referred to a diabetes education session covering diet, the InDependent Diabetes Trust’s (IDDT) Living with Diabetes Survey 2014 has found. The snapshot survey was carried out to help raise awareness of the healthy living theme for this year’s World Diabetes Day, which takes place on November 14.

Martin Hirst, chief executive of the international diabetes charity, said: “People with diabetes face a daily battle to keep on top of their condition but unfortunately they are not always given sufficient information and advice,

especially when it comes to diet. Having a healthy balanced diet can help to prevent Type 2 diabetes, control diagnosed diabetes as well as reduce the risk of the associated complications of the condition.

“Our experience is that healthy eating means different things to different people and despite views that people should not feel restricted by having diabetes, many people prefer to be given more direction about their diet, especially at the time of diagnosis, for special occasions or if they are unwell.”

The straw-poll research discovered that one in seven people experienced potentially dangerous drops in blood glucose, called hypoglycaemia, while in hospital because of inflexible meal times or inappropriate meals.

People with diabetes found diet (70 per cent) the most challenging aspect of their condition. 

The survey, which saw 144 responses through postal forms and an online questionnaire, was carried out to mark the publication of the charity’s recipe book Diabetes – Food, Meds and More.

The charity published the recipe book to help people with diabetes and their families to understand more about living with the condition with an emphasis on lifestyle, dietary information and recipes covering real life, day-to-day situations. It costs £8.99 for non-members plus £1.50 postage and packaging.

For more information about the new book, visit http://iddt.org/news/diabetes-foods-meds-and-more.

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Notes to Editors
The Trust produces a wide variety of free information and is reliant totally on voluntary donations.

For more information about the work of the Trust, contact:
Telephone: 01604 622837
Email: martin@iddtinternational.org

For press details please contact:
Oliver Jelley
Email: oliver.jelley@ojpr.co.uk