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Korean J Community Nutr. 2003 Feb;8(1):91-101. Korean. Original Article.
Park GS , Ly SY .
Department of Food and Nutrition, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the compliance and need for diet therapy among diabetics and their caregivers. A total of 625 respondents participated in this survey. Appropriate management for long-term blood glucose control and difficult-to-manage cases appeared to be diet therapy, physical activity, medical treatment and folk remedies, in that order. The most important educational avenues for diet therapy were books, magazines and TV. Most respondents were educated in diet therapy within a year after diagnosis and had practiced diet therapy for over four years. The most common diet therapy practices were food selection and quantity control. Of the specific problems in practicing diet therapy, time and labor, taste, and meal planning appeared to be equally difficult factors. The prevailing diet therapy skills were controlling food amounts at breakfast and supper, and selecting food for lunch and refreshments. Respondents practicing both skills were about 20% of the participants; this shows the need to improve the current situation. The nutrients most frequently considered in diet therapy practice were simple sugars (sugar and sweet foods), total fats and cholesterol. Since the perception of the role of dietary fiber among respondents was very low, nutrition education about the importance of dietary fiber and food sources of dietary fiber was needed. Diabetics seemed to be concerned about diabetic menus. Three difficult problems in planning diabetic menus were daily menu planning, patient's preferences, and the calculation of calories. As a means of nutrition counseling, they preferred interviews. The higher the educational status and the lower the age, the higher the preference was for internet or PC counseling. Therefore, it is necessary to develop nutrition educational programs so that diabetics can obtain practical knowledge of diet therapy. Furthermore, it is also necessary to develop additional means of informing diabetics about menu planning, while still considering Korean dietary behavior.

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