Original Research

Dietary management practices for type 1 diabetes mellitus by dietitians in KwaZulu-Natal

Megan E. Dimitriades, Kirthee Pillay
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 26 | a1506 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v26i0.1506 | © 2021 Megan E. Dimitriades, Kirthee Pillay | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 June 2020 | Published: 29 March 2021

About the author(s)

Megan E. Dimitriades, Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Kirthee Pillay, Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Background: In South Africa, 5% – 15% of diabetics have type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Dietitians are an important part of the diabetes management team; however, there is a lack of published data on the dietary management practices for T1DM by dietitians.

Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the dietary management practices for T1DM by dietitians in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

Setting: This study was conducted in KZN.

Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted using a self-administered electronic questionnaire.

Results: Of the 69 dietitians who participated, 58% (n = 40) used the American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines to manage T1DM; just under 35% (n = 24) spent over an hour with new cases; and 87% (n = 60) used face-to-face consultations for follow-up. Dietitians used the glycaemic index, portion control using the healthy eating plate, carbohydrate counting using nutritional labels and household measures and carbohydrate awareness to manage T1DM (p < 0.05). Dietitians also used the healthy eating plate (71%; n = 49) (p < 0.05) and household measures (73.9%; n = 51) (p < 0.05) to manage T1DM. Time constraints, the literacy level of the patient, available resources and language barriers all played a role in determining the dietary management practices used (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Most dietitians in KZN used the ADA dietary guidelines to manage T1DM, which highlights the need for South African dietary guidelines for the management of T1DM. Dietitians used a variety of different dietary methods to manage T1DM in practice. This suggests that dietitians are flexible in how they manage T1DM with no one particular method being used. A variety of factors also influenced which dietary management practices were chosen.


Keywords

dietary management practices; dietitians; type 1 diabetes mellitus; dietary guidelines; KwaZulu-Natal

Metrics

Total abstract views: 698
Total article views: 765


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.