The role of diet in the management of gout: a comparison of knowledge and attitudes to current evidence

J Hum Nutr Diet. 2009 Feb;22(1):3-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-277X.2008.00928.x.


Background: Evidence supports dietary modifications in the management of gout. Despite this, the degree of implementation of this evidence by nutrition professionals and rheumatologists and those affected by gout is unknown. The present study aimed to compare usual dietary practices of patients with gout to evidence for dietary management of gout and to investigate whether the knowledge and attitudes of nutrition professionals and rheumatologists reflects current evidence.

Methods: A food frequency questionnaire was used to determine usual dietary intake of patients with gout, a separate questionnaire examined gout-related dietary modifications (n = 29). Online questionnaires to examine attitudes towards dietary management of gout were completed by nutrition professionals and rheumatologists.

Results: Proportions of participants whose reported intakes were inconsistent with current evidence for the dietary management of gout were: alcohol, n = 14 (48%); beer, n = 18 (62%); seafood, n = 29 (100%); meat, n = 7 (24%); beef/pork/lamb, n = 24 (83%); dairy products, n = 12 (41%); vitamin C supplementation, n = 29 (100%). Of the 61 rheumatologists and 231 nutrition professionals who completed the online survey, the majority considered that weight loss and decreased alcohol intake were important or very important outcomes. Proportions were lower for decreased purine intake. Thirty-four (56%) rheumatologists do not refer patients with gout to dietetic services and, of those who do, the majority refer less than half.

Conclusions: Overall, patients with gout in the present study were not implementing evidence for dietary management of their condition and complex dietary issues were evident.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dietary Proteins / adverse effects
  • Dietetics / standards*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Gout / blood
  • Gout / diet therapy*
  • Gout / prevention & control
  • Gout Suppressants / therapeutic use*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meat / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand
  • Purines / adverse effects
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Rheumatology / standards*
  • Risk Factors
  • Seafood / adverse effects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Uric Acid / blood


  • Dietary Proteins
  • Gout Suppressants
  • Purines
  • Uric Acid