Disordered Eating Behaviors Are Not Increased by an Intervention to Improve Diet Quality but Are Associated With Poorer Glycemic Control Among Youth With Type 1 Diabetes


This study examines whether participation in an 18-month behavioral intervention shown previously to improve overall diet quality inadvertently increases disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) in youth with type 1 diabetes and investigates the association of DEB with multiple measures of glycemic control and variability.


Participants reported DEB and diabetes management at baseline and 6, 12, and 18 months; masked continuous glucose monitoring, HbA1c, and 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG) were obtained concurrently. Linear mixed models estimated the intervention effect on DEB, the association of DEB with diabetes adherence and measures of glycemic control and variability, and whether DEB modified glycemic trajectories.


There was no intervention effect on DEB (P = 0.84). DEB was associated with higher HbA1c (P = 0.001), mean sensor glucose (P = 0.001), and percent sensor glucose values >180 mg/dL (P = <0.001); with lower 1,5-AG (P = 0.01); and with worse diabetes adherence (P = 0.03). DEB was not associated with percent sensor glucose values <70 mg/dL or any measures of glycemic variability. There was a significant DEB x time interaction effect for mean sensor glucose (P = 0.05) and percent sensor glucose values >180 mg/dL (P = 0.04). Participants reporting less DEB had a developmentally expected deterioration in glycemic control throughout the study. Participants reporting more DEB had poor glycemic control at baseline that remained poor throughout the study.


Findings show a potential to improve diet quality without increasing DEB and indicate an association of DEB with persistent hyperglycemia but not hypoglycemia or glycemic variability.

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