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Ann Nutr Metab. 2005 Jan-Feb;49(1):64-8. Epub 2005 Feb 25.

Assessment of nutritional intake, body mass index and glycemic control in patients with type-2 diabetes from northern Tanzania.

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Institute of Nutritional Science, University Giessen, Wilhelmstrasse 20, DE-35392 Giessen, Germany.



Little information is available about the nutrition of people with diabetes from Africa. For the treatment and prevention of diabetes by nutrition, we have assessed the major local foods in a baseline study.


The staple foods and meal frequencies of 53 outpatients with type-2 diabetes were assessed in a 24-hour dietary recall based on a questionnaire at a diabetes clinic in northern Tanzania in November and December 1999. In addition, data on weight and height, casual blood glucose, urinary glucose and diabetes therapy were ascertained.


72% of the patients had a body mass index of > or =25 kg/m(2); 64% of patients had casual blood glucose levels of >7.8 mmol/l, 47% had >11.1 mmol/l, and most of them were treated by sulfonylureas or conventional insulin therapy. The test for urinary glucose highly correlated with the blood glucose values, and was positive in 59% of patients. 36% of the patients had < or =3 meals/day. The foods stated most frequently were stiff porridge, plantains, bread, rice, beef, milk, amaranth leaves, orange and sunflower oil. The main beverages were water, tea and milk.


The baseline data obtained enable more precise dietary assessment and emphasize the need to collect more data on local food consumption in areas where pharmacological diabetes treatment is limited.

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