Aims: The aims were to describe the food habits of adolescents with Type 1 diabetes (Type 1 DM) and to compare them with healthy control subjects; to describe the distribution of energy-providing nutrients in patients and compare it with current recommendations and previous reports; and finally, to investigate associations between dietary intake and glycaemic control.
Methods: One hundred and seventy-four adolescents with Type 1 DM and 160 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects completed a validated food frequency questionnaire, and 38 randomly chosen patients completed a prospective 4-day food record.
Results: Patients ate more regularly, and more often ate fruit and fruit juice, potatoes and root vegetables, meat, fish, egg, offal and sugar-free sweets than control subjects. Control subjects more often ate ordinary sweets and snacks. Patients chose coarse rye bread and dairy products with less fat to a greater extent than control subjects. Patients were heavier than control subjects. The intake of saturated fat was higher in patients compared with recommendations and, for boys with diabetes, the intake of protein was higher than recommended. Patients with poorer glycaemic control ate vegetables, fruit and fish less often than patients with better control.
Conclusions: The food habits of adolescents with Type 1 DM were healthier than those of control subjects. The intake of energy-providing nutrients was in line with current recommendations and showed improvements compared with previous reports, with the exception of fibre intake. The association between dietary intake and glycaemic control needs further investigation in prospective studies.