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J Am Diet Assoc. 1991 May;91(5):553-7.

Dietary habits of elderly persons with diabetes.

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Division of Human Nutrition, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Adelaide, South Australia.


The dietary habits and nutrient intakes of a group of 151 persons with diabetes were compared with those of a group without diabetes in a random postal survey of 3,000 individuals aged 65 years and older residing in Adelaide, South Australia. A semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire was used. The response rate was 77%. Only 64% of individuals with diabetes reported following a diabetic diet at the time of the survey, and only 6% were consuming a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet (greater than or equal to 50% energy intake from carbohydrate and less than or equal to 30% from fat). The dietary habits of elderly persons with diabetes suggested an awareness of the need to limit simple sugars; however, adherence to the latest recommendations concerning dietary fat and fiber was poor. Individuals with diabetes had lower intakes of refined carbohydrate but were just as likely as those without diabetes to eat high-fat foods, and they ate eggs and cheese more frequently. Those with diabetes were no more likely than those without diabetes to consume the recommended complex-carbohydrate and fiber-rich foods. The extent of adherence to current dietary recommendations for the management of diabetes was found to be independent of sex, age, occupational status, educational attainment, marital status, living arrangements (alone vs with a spouse), and source of income.

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