St. Louis, MO, November 8, 2010 The economic recession impacts many aspects of our lives including an increase incidence of food insecurity. This can have serious consequences for those suffering from chronic illnesses like diabetes. For diseases like diabetes, in which nutrition and menu planning play a key role in treatment, food insecurity can be devastating. A study in the November/December issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior explores how technology advancement in the form of telemedicine can provide cost-effective ways to treat those with diabetes experiencing food insecurity.
Investigators evaluated rural older adults with diabetes reporting the presence or absence of food insecurity with respect to meal planning, obesity, and diabetes control after receiving a telemedicine intervention that included nutrition counseling. Findings from this study reveal that food-insecure adults with diabetes had a higher body mass index and were more likely to consider the cost of food than food-secure adults with diabetes. However, after nutrition counseling via telemedicine, both groups reported that they usually or always adhered to the dietitian's advice and did not differ significantly in lab values associated with diabetes care.
Food security, as defined by the American Dietetic Association, is "access by all people, at all times to sufficient food for an active and healthy life includes at a minimum: the ready availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, and an assured ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways." However, 10% of adults with diabetes were classified as having food insecurity in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.1 Unfortunately, "older patients with diabetes commonly do not directly indicate to their primary care provider that money, lack of nutrition knowledge, transportation, physical disability, or other barriers are preventing them from
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Elsevier Health Sciences