Children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes eat a more atherosclerosis-prone diet than healthy control subjects

Diabetologia. 2007 Feb;50(2):307-16. doi: 10.1007/s00125-006-0540-9. Epub 2006 Nov 29.


Aims/hypothesis: We evaluated how well the diet of Norwegian children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes fulfils the Nordic and European dietary recommendations, focusing on parameters affecting prevention of atherosclerosis. We also compared the diet of this patient group with that of healthy same-age control subjects.

Materials and methods: A total of 177 children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes (9-10-year-olds, 12-13-year-olds) and 1,809 healthy same-age control subjects recorded their food intake for 4 days in precoded food diaries.

Results: In children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes the percentage of energy (E%) from fat (33-35 E%) and saturated fat (14-15 E%) was higher than recommended for that group. Furthermore their intake of fibre was lower (16-19 g/day) than current recommendations. There were no differences in energy intake between diabetic subjects and healthy control subjects. Percentage of energy from fat (mean difference: 3.4 E%, p < 0.001) and saturated fat (mean difference: 1.0 E%, p < 0.001) was significantly higher among diabetic subjects than control subjects. Intake of fruits and vegetables was low (210 g/day) compared with recommendations, both in the diabetic and control subjects.

Conclusions/interpretation: Diabetic children and adolescents had a high intake of energy from saturated fat and low intake of fibre, fruits and vegetables, which could increase the risk of development of atherosclerosis. This study supports the idea that nutritional guidance in the treatment of children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes should be more focused, especially with regard to intake of fibre, fruits and vegetables and to quality and quantity of fat intake.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Atherosclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Diet, Atherogenic*
  • Dietary Fats*
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Reference Values
  • Vegetables


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A