medwireNews: Young patients with type 1 diabetes who have inadequate access to nutritional food are more likely to have poor glycemic control than those from food-secure households, researchers report.
Food insecurity “can be a consequence of low [socioeconomic status] but also reflects a household’s access to food, food selection and preparation, and family, cultural, and social support,” and may result in “overconsumption when food is available and reduced intake when food is scarce,” explain Jason Mendoza (Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Washington, USA) and study co-authors.
As reported in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 19% of 269 young diabetes patients (mean age 15.6 years) had experienced household food insecurity – defined as limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods – over the past year.
After adjustment for factors including age, sex, and diabetes duration, participants from households with food insecurity were more than twice as likely to have glycated hemoglobin levels above 9% and approximately three times more likely to visit a hospital in an emergency compared with those from food-secure households.
“Altogether, these findings suggest that policies and programs to identify and alleviate [food insecurity] among [youths and young adults] with type 1 diabetes may improve their glycemic control and could potentially reduce hospitalizations and [emergency department] visits,” conclude Mendoza and colleagues.
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