This study documents that low-income older individuals with diabetes and food insecurity have the ability to follow an appropriate meal plan after receiving nutrition education by telemedicine, which has not been previously reported. Co-author, Dr. Ruth Weinstock, Professor of Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, states, "in the IDEATel project [telemedicine], nutrition education was effectively delivered to rural older adults with diabetes using telemedicine. This study demonstrated that among participants classified as both food secure and mildly insecure, individuals were usually able to follow the dietitian's advice. This finding suggests that telemedical nutrition support services have the potential to be an important adjunct for rural primary care providers whose patients have poor access to the services of dietitians."
Researchers participating in this multi-center study believe "food insecurity may become a greater problem for older patients living on fixed incomes as the cost of food rises or economically depressed rural localities lose food-distribution outlets. Nutrition education with sensitivity to food insecurity issues as well as services providing access to low-cost, healthful food are needed for many older, rural patients with diabetes. Telemedicine can help with the former; public policies are critical for the latter."
Within the article, the researchers emphasize the importance of providing access to dietitians and diabetes education to underserved older adults with diabetes using telemedicine.
|Contact: Nancy Burns|
Elsevier Health Sciences