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Healthy meals and support recommended to help people with type 2 diabetes

Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh Vegetables, Fruits and other foodstuffs / Photo via diabetes.co.uk

Providing dietary interventions is the way forward for helping people with type 2 diabetes, according to a research review.

Thousands of studies carried out across 42 years were analysed to see which treatment approach generated the best results and helped people with type 2 diabetes change their behaviour.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) found the intervention which garnered the best results was when healthy meals were provided and participants had regular contact and help from dieticans.

Kevin Cradock, the study’s first author and an Irish Research Council postgraduate scholar at the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway, said:

“Changing the food environment is one of the keys to treating type 2 diabetes. Before we change the food environment we need to look carefully at what it is and how it affects us.”

Delving deeper into the subject, the research team found three key techniques that help people change their attitudes to food: feedback on behaviour, solving problems and comparing themselves to others.

Professor Heather Gainsforth, an assistant professor at UBC Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences, said:

“Without any support, behaviour change efforts can quickly fall apart. We need to be thinking about a better way to support people with diabetes.

“It may seem impractical to provide food and control the food environment. However, we need to examine the viability of providing healthy meals at the beginning of a program, followed by instruction and feedback as to how to choose, shop for and prepare these foods. Gradually, this approach may support people to prepare healthy meals independently.”

The study has been published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Originally published at diabetes.co.uk

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