Eating habits in elderly diabetic subjects: assessment in the InCHIANTI Study

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2008 May;18(4):278-82. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2006.12.009. Epub 2007 Apr 27.


Background and aims: Nutritional therapy is a cornerstone of the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to assess differences in dietary habits between subjects with and without known type 2 diabetes.

Methods and results: In a sample of 1242 predominantly elderly subjects enrolled in the InCHIANTI study, total energy and macronutrient intake was assessed cross-sectionally using the EPIC self-reported questionnaire. Results were compared in subjects with (N=109) and without known diabetes, and differences were adjusted for age, sex, and reported comorbidities. Subjects with known diabetes reported a significantly lower (p<0.001) total energy and soluble carbohydrate intake in comparison with the rest of the sample (1793+/-481 vs 2040+/-624 kCal/day, and 66.9+/-22.3 vs. 93.5+/-34.9 g/day, respectively). Conversely, consumption of total and saturated fats, dietary fibres and proteins was not significantly different.

Conclusion: Known diabetes is associated with a reduction of soluble carbohydrate consumption and total energy intake without any further modification of dietary habits. These data suggest that the diagnosis of diabetes could induce some changes in nutritional style. However, corrections in dietary habits do not appear to be consistent with current guidelines and recommendations.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Nutrition Therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Dietary Proteins