Medical school-based teaching kitchen improves HbA1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol for patients with type 2 diabetes: Results from a novel randomized controlled trial

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2015 Aug;109(2):420-6. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2015.05.007. Epub 2015 May 12.


Aims: A medical school-based teaching kitchen sought to establish proof-of-principle for its hands-on Mediterranean diet (MD)-based cooking and nutrition curriculum for patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Methods: This pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) allocated 27 patients with T2D between the control and GCCM arms. Mixed effects linear regression with repeated measures was used to investigate differences from baseline to 6 months. The primary and secondary endpoints were HbA1c -0.3% (-27 mmol/mol) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) -10 mmHg and a 25% improved responses in dietary habits and attitudes and competencies in healthy nutrition.

Results: Compared to the control group, the GCCM group had superior HbA1c reduction (-0.4% vs. -0.3%, p = 0.575) that was not statistically significant. There were significantly greater reductions in the GCCM vs. control group for DBP (-4 vs. 7 mmHg, p=0.037) and total cholesterol (-14 vs. 17 mg/dL, p = 0.044). There was a greater proportion increase though not significant of GCCM subjects compared to controls who mostly believed they could eat correct portions (18% vs. -11%, p = 0.124), and who used nutrition panels to make food choices (34% vs. 0%, p = 0.745).

Conclusion: This is the first known RCT demonstrating improved biometrics using a novel MD-based hands on cooking and nutrition curriculum for patients with T2D. These results suggest subsequent clinical trials are warranted on the grounds of documented feasibility and clinical efficacy.

Keywords: Culinary medicine; Diabetes nutrition education; Health disparities.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cooking*
  • Curriculum*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Education, Medical / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Pilot Projects


  • Cholesterol