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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Diabetes is becoming a major public health problem in the country. One of the most important lifestyle modifications necessary for diabetic patients is maintaining healthy dietary choices. These modifications in dietary practices are supposed to be followed lifelong, along with medication, for better glycemic control. Despite understanding the importance of dietary control and physical activity in the management of diabetes, adherence to these practices is poor. This study aimed to assess the dietary practices of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients and various factors that determine adherence to these healthy dietary practices. The secondary objective was to find the perceptions of participants about the role of diet in controlling diabetes and to find the perception-practice gap among study participants.

METHODOLOGY: It was a hospital-based cross-sectional study conducted among 450 T2DM patients visiting the non-communicable disease (NCD) clinics of tertiary care hospitals and community health centres (CHCs) of the study district. Dietary practice was assessed using a modified UK Diabetes and Diet Questionnaire (UKDDQ), considering the food patterns in the study area. Statistical tests like chi-square and ordinal logistic regression were applied using Jamovi software for univariate and multivariate analyses.

RESULTS: The healthiest food choices were abstinence from alcohol consumption (100%), avoiding processed meat (92.21%), high-fibre breakfast (70.4%), and daily consumption of vegetables (68.2%). Improper dietary practices were regular sugary drinks (38%) and high-glycemic-index food items (22.4%). The mean (SD) of the composite score was 68.02 (8.7) and the median score (interquartile range (IQR)) was 69 (60-76). Tertile analysis of the composite score revealed that with the increase in age, patients were less likely to be in the intermediate or upper tertile score (β = -0.0219, p = 0.016). Being female (odds ratio (OR) =0.603, CI: 0.395-0.917, p = 0.019) and living in a three-generation family made the patients less likely to be in the upper tertile score.

CONCLUSION: Nearly half of the participants had an overall healthy score. Dietary practices were healthy among the participants of lower ages, males, and those living in nuclear and joint families. The highest perception-practice gap was seen for fruit and rice consumption.


dietary perception, dietary practice, observational cross-sectional study, type-2 diabetes, ukddq score



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