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J Paediatr Child Health. 2019 Jan 7. doi: 10.1111/jpc.14373. [Epub ahead of print]

Australian children with type 1 diabetes consume high sodium and high saturated fat diets: Comparison with national and international guidelines.

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Discipline of Paediatrics, Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
Endocrine and Diabetes Department, Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
School of Public Health, Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.



We aimed to evaluate the diets of children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) against recommended Australian dietary intakes and international T1D guidelines and compare them to children without T1D.


A cross-sectional analysis in 143 children (103 children aged 8-18 years with T1D and 40 age- and gender-matched controls) and longitudinal analysis at 0, 3, 6 and 12 months in 90 T1D children were conducted. Diet was assessed using an Australian validated food frequency questionnaire. Diet quality was assessed against recommended servings and nutrient intakes from Australian Dietary Guidelines and International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) Nutritional Guidelines.


Diet was evaluated in 478 questionnaires. Diet composition did not differ between T1D and controls, and both groups did not meet the majority of the Australian Dietary Guidelines, except for fruit intake. The majority of T1D children and controls (80-83%) were overconsuming sodium (2837 ± 848 mg/day), discretionary foods (5.9 ± 2.5 serves/day) and saturated fat and trans fatty acids (13.1 ± 2.7% of total daily energy intake) in comparison with Australian and ISPAD guidelines. A total of 84% of T1D children and controls achieved the recommended intake of fibre (34.4 ± 11.0 g/day). Longitudinal analysis in children with T1D showed that total daily energy, macronutrient, micronutrient and food group servings intake did not change over the 12 months. Overconsumption of sodium, discretionary foods and saturated fat persisted over the 12-month study period.


The majority of Australian children, with and without T1D, is not meeting recommended dietary guidelines. Significant overconsumption of sodium, saturated fat and discretionary foods attracts the most concern.


children; diet; saturated fat; sodium; type 1 diabetes


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