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Can J Diet Pract Res. 2005 Winter;66(4):215-20.

Gender and nutrition management in type 2 diabetes.

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University of Toronto, ON.



The literature suggests that adherence to dietary recommendations may differ between women and men with type 2 diabetes due to family obligations and spousal support.


To assess division of household labour between spouses, retrospective chart review of 561 individuals who attended the Diabetes Education Centre at the Toronto Western Hospital was performed. Qualitative interviews were also performed with 12 married clients (six female and six male) and seven spouses of clients (three female, four male) to understand how the sharing of household labour influences adherence to nutrition guidelines in type 2 diabetes.


Results indicate a significant gender difference in responsibility for meal preparation (chi2(3)=140.64, p<.001) and grocery shopping (chi2(3)=88.24, p<0.001), with women more often engaging in these household activities than men. Male clients are more likely to be actively supported by their wives in the form of meal preparation and verbal encouragement, while female clients are only passively supported by their husbands.


The results suggest that diabetes educators should recognize gender differences in household labour and support when counselling their clients to ensure that both men and women have the help they need to successfully manage their diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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