Aims: We report a systematic review to determine (1) prevalence of eating problems compared with peers and (2) the association between eating problems and glycaemic control in young adults with Type 1 diabetes.
Method: We conducted a systematic literature search via electronic databases and meta-analysis. Cohen's d (the mean difference score between Type 1 diabetes and comparison groups) was calculated for 13 studies that met inclusion criteria.
Results: Eating problems [both disordered eating behaviour (39.3 and 32.5%; d = 0.52, 95% CI 0.10-0.94) and eating disorders (7.0 and 2.8%; d = 0.46, 95% CI 0.10-0.81)] were more common in adolescents with Type 1 diabetes compared with peers and both were associated with poorer glycaemic control (d = 0.40, 95% CI 0.17-0.64). In restricted analyses involving measures adapted for diabetes, associations between eating problems and poorer glycaemic control remained (d = 0.54, 95% CI 0.32-0.76). Disordered eating behaviour (51.8 and 48.1%; d = 0.06, 95% CI -0.05 to 0.21) and eating disorders (6.4 and 3.0%; d = 0.43, 95% CI -0.06 to 0.91) were more common in adolescents with Type 1 diabetes compared with peers, but differences were non-significant.
Conclusions: Eating problems are common among this age group. Future work in populations with Type 1 diabetes should develop sensitive measures of eating problems and interventions, and establish predictors of eating problems. Screening in clinics is recommended.
© 2012 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine © 2012 Diabetes UK.