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More Than Half of Diabetic Youths Have Bad Eating Habits

Fat, mineral and vitamin intake fails to meet American Diabetes Association guidelines

TUESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than half of young people with diabetes adhere to the American Diabetes Association's dietary recommendations, according to a study in the May issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Elizabeth J. Mayer-Davis, Ph.D., of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, and colleagues conducted a study of 1,697 youths aged 10 to 22 years with physician-diagnosed diabetes mellitus (DM). Eighty-nine percent had type 1 DM and 11 percent had type 2 DM, with a duration of at least 12 months. The subjects completed a previous-week food frequency questionnaire.

Across two age subgroups (10 to 14 years and 15 years and older), the percentage of energy derived from fat was consistent at 37 percent to 38 percent. Those in the cohort with type 2 DM consumed less calcium, magnesium and vitamin E than their counterparts with type 1 DM. Among the older age group, intake of soda was twice as high among children with type 2 diabetes compared with their type 1 counterparts.

A mere 6.5 percent of the cohort met the American Diabetes Association's recommendation to derive less than 10 percent of calories from fat, and fewer than half met the recommendation for total fat, vitamin E, fiber, fruits, vegetables and grains.

"There is a critical need for improvement in dietary intake in youth with diabetes," the authors conclude.

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