J Korean Diabetes.  2022 Dec;23(4):258-261. 10.4093/jkd.2022.23.4.258.

Nutrition Therapy for Diabetic Patients with Malnutrition

  • 1Department of Nutrition, Chungnam National University Sejong Hospital, Sejong, Korea


Recently, the prevalence of diabetic mellitus patients in Korea has been increasing, and it increasing with age. The treatment goal of diabetes is to prevent complications through blood sugar management, for which it is important to maintain an appropriate nutritional state. Unbalanced diet refers to excessive or insufficient nutrition, which can be generally confirmed through weight conditions. Therefore, medical nutrition therapy in diabetic patients with unbalanced diet aims to maintain a moderate body mass index. Older people with diabetes have a higher risk of unbalanced diet than those without diabetes. Clinical nutritional intervention in diabetic patients should shift from strict dietary restrictions for treatment of metabolic syndrome/obesity to diet for prevention of frailty and sarcopenia with age. Therefore, clinical nutrition therapy for diabetic patients with unbalanced diet should be individualized in consideration of age, gender, and medical condition. Medical nutrition therapy tailored for each patient can contribute to improving the nutritional status of diabetic patients, prolonging healthy life expectancy and improving quality of life.


Diabetes mellitus; Nutrition therapy; Nutritional status


  • Fig. 1. Nutritional states that are not preferred in older patients with diabetes for the prevention of cognitive impairment, frailty, and increased mortality. Adapted from the article of Tamura et al. (Nutrients 2020; 12:3367) [11] under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license. BMI, body mass index; BW, body weight; y.o., years old.

  • Fig. 2. Shift in dietary strategies for frailty prevention in older adults with diabetes. Adapted from the article of Tamura et al. (Nutrients 2020; 12:3367) [11] under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license. QOL, quality of life.


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