The influence of dietary intake and meal pattern on blood glucose control in children and adolescents using intensive insulin treatment

Diabetologia. 2007 Oct;50(10):2044-51. doi: 10.1007/s00125-007-0775-0. Epub 2007 Aug 9.


Aims/hypothesis: We studied dietary factors and their association with blood glucose control in type 1 diabetic children and adolescents using intensive insulin treatment.

Materials and methods: A total of 550 children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (age 2-19 years) recorded their diet for 4 days in pre-coded food diaries. Of the study group, 34% used insulin pumps, 43% used four or more injections and 16% three injections per day. HbA(1c) was related to targets of optimal blood glucose control defined by the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD).

Results: Adolescents with optimal glucose control (HbA(1c) < or = 7.5%) had a lower intake of added sugar (7.7 vs 9.1% of energy intake, p = 0.004), a higher intake of fibre (19.3 vs 17.0 g/day, p = 0.01) and a higher intake of fruits and vegetables (257 vs 227 g/day, p = 0.04) than those with suboptimal metabolic control (HbA(1c) > 7.5%). Multiple regression analysis in adolescents showed that fibre and meal pattern were significantly associated with blood glucose control (effect fibre intake = -0.02, p = 0.04, effect having breakfast regularly = -0.89, p = 0.009). In children meal pattern was associated with blood glucose control (effect having dinner regularly = -0.66, p = 0.02, effect having supper regularly = -0.78, p = 0.03).

Conclusions/interpretation: In diabetic adolescents both intake of fibre and having a regular meal pattern are associated with blood glucose control. Lower intake of added sugar and sugar-sweetened soft drinks and higher intake of fruits and vegetables are observed among those with optimal compared with those with suboptimal blood glucose control. Dietary guidance should be intensified during adolescence to improve dietary intake and blood glucose control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Diet Records
  • Energy Intake*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Norway
  • Sucrose / administration & dosage
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Sucrose