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A flexible diet using an insulin to carbohydrate ratio for adolescents with type 1 diabetes – A pilot study
- Hayes, Rachel L., Garnett, Sarah P., Clarke, Samantha L., Harkin, Nuala M., Chan, Albert K.F., Ambler, Geoffrey R.
- Clinical nutrition 2012 v.31 no.5 pp. 705-709
- adolescents, body mass index, diet, glycemic control, hemoglobin, insulin, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, quality of life, questionnaires
- BACKGROUND & AIMS: There is significant interest in the utility of flexible meal plans for individuals with type 1 diabetes. However, there is a paucity of data examining this approach in adolescents. The aim of this study was to assess glycemic control, weight status and quality of life over 12 months in adolescents with type 1 diabetes, who were commenced on a flexible meal plan using an insulin to carbohydrate ratio. METHODS: 38 adolescents with type 1 diabetes were recruited and 28 completed the study. Glyceamic control, weight status and quality of life were measured using haemoglobin A1c, BMI and the Diabetes Quality of Life –Youth questionnaire. RESULTS: Nine months after the adolescents were transitioned to a flexible meal and insulin plan, mean BMI SDS decreased (by 0.15 ± 0.20; P < 0.001) and haemoglobin A1c increased (by 0.7 ± 0.83%; P = 0.001). Adolescents reported no change in the impact or concerns about diabetes. However, mean life satisfaction scores increased (5.5 ± 9.5; P = 0.008). CONCLUSIONS: On a flexible meal and insulin plan glycemic control deteriorated although weight status and life satisfaction, two outcomes which may be important to the adolescents, improved. A flexible meal and insulin plan warrants further investigation as a management option.