Diabetes-specific quality of life after a low-carbohydrate and low-fat dietary intervention

Diabetes Educ. 2012 Mar-Apr;38(2):250-5. doi: 10.1177/0145721711436132. Epub 2012 Feb 7.


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to examine the impact of a 12-month weight loss intervention with either a low-carbohydrate or a low-fat diet on quality of life (QOL) among obese patients with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: Participants were enrolled in a randomized trial comparing a low-carbohydrate to a low-fat diet in type 2 diabetes. QOL was assessed with the Diabetes-39 questionnaire, which measures QOL within 5 distinct scales: anxiety and worry, diabetes control, energy and mobility, social burden, and sexual functioning. Repeated measures ANOVA compared change in QOL scales at baseline and 6 and 12 months.

Results: Forty-six participants completed all measures. Following 12 months, there was a significant reduction in the scores related to sexual function and energy and mobility, suggesting improvement in QOL related to these domains. These changes were not significantly different between dietary arms. Changes in weight, A1C, and dietary composition were not significantly correlated with changes in QOL.

Conclusions: Participants with diabetes have various options for weight loss. Dietary interventions with either low-carbohydrate or low-fat diets may lead to some improvements in QOL in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00795691.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology*
  • Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted* / methods
  • Diet, Fat-Restricted* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Quality of Life*
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Reduction Programs

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00795691