Background: Little has been reported regarding food and nutrient intake in individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and most reports have been based on findings in select groups or individuals who self-reported having diabetes.
Objective: To describe the baseline food and nutrient intake of the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) trial participants, compare participant intake to national guidelines, and describe demographic and health characteristics associated with food group consumption.
Methods: The Look AHEAD trial is evaluating the effects of a lifestyle intervention (calorie control and increased physical activity for weight loss) compared with diabetes support and education on long-term cardiovascular and other health outcomes. Participants are 45 to 75 years old, overweight or obese (body mass index [BMI] > or = 25), and have type 2 diabetes. In this cross-sectional analysis, baseline food consumption was assessed by food frequency questionnaire from 2,757 participants between September 2000 and December 2003.
Statistical analysis: Descriptive statistics were used to summarize intake by demographic characteristics. Kruskal-Wallis tests assessed univariate effects of characteristics on consumption. Multiple linear regression models assessed factors predictive of intake. Least square estimates were based on final models, and logistic regression determined factors predictive of recommended intake.
Results: Ninety-three percent of the participants exceeded the recommended percentage of calories from fat, 85% exceeded the saturated fat recommendation, and 92% consumed too much sodium. Also, fewer than half met the minimum recommended servings of fruit, vegetables, dairy, and grains.
Conclusions: These participants with pre-existing diabetes did not meet recommended food and nutrition guidelines. These overweight adults diagnosed with diabetes are exceeding recommended intake of fat, saturated fats, and sodium, which may contribute to increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.