Enhanced carbohydrate craving in patients with poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Diabet Med. 2013 Sep;30(9):1080-6. doi: 10.1111/dme.12209. Epub 2013 May 14.


Aims: Although hyperphagia is a common manifestation of diabetes mellitus, data on food craving in patients with diabetes are limited. This study compared food craving in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus and a control group without diabetes.

Methods: A total of 210 subjects (105 with Type 2 diabetes and 105 age-, sex- and BMI-matched control subjects) participated in two food craving surveys. The surveys were as follows: the General Food Cravings Questionnaire--Trait, which assesses the general trait of food craving; and the Food Cravings Questionnaire--State, which assesses the state of food craving or current desire for high-carbohydrate or high-fat foods in response to pictures of food. Follow-up Food Cravings Questionnaire--State surveys were administered approximately 3 months later to the subjects with diabetes. Survey results were analysed to assess relationships between food craving and glycaemic control.

Results: The General Food Cravings Questionnaire--Trait scores in the group with Type 2 diabetes and the control group were not significantly different. The group with Type 2 diabetes had higher carbohydrate craving scores, but lower fat craving scores, than the control group. Carbohydrate craving scores in subjects with diabetes were positively correlated with HbA(1c). In follow-up surveys, carbohydrate craving scores declined in patients with improved glycaemic control.

Conclusions: The surveys showed that patients with Type 2 diabetes had higher carbohydrate cravings and lower fat cravings than the age-, sex- and BMI-matched control group. Carbohydrate craving in patients with diabetes was associated with poor glycaemic control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Behavior, Addictive*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cues
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Diet, Diabetic*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects*
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / complications
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Republic of Korea
  • Sex Characteristics


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human