The Cost of a Healthier Diet for Young Children With Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2015 Jul-Aug;47(4):361-6.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2015.03.006.


Objective: This study used a market-basket approach to examine the availability and cost of a standard food shopping list (R-TFP) vs a healthier food shopping list (H-TFP) in the grocery stores used by a sample of 23 families of young children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Methods: The researchers used frequency counts to measure availability. The average cost of the R-TFP and H-TFP was compared using paired t test.

Results: Small or independent markets had the highest percentage of missing foods (14%), followed by chain supermarkets (3%) and big box stores (2%). There was a significant difference in average cost for the R-TFP vs the H-TFP ($324.71 and $380.07, respectively; P < .001).

Conclusions and implications: Families may encounter problems finding healthier foods and/or incur greater costs for healthier foods. Nutrition education programs for T1DM need to teach problem solving to help families overcome these barriers.

Keywords: behavior; child; diabetes; food costs; nutrition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Nutrition Sciences
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diet therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / economics*
  • Diet, Diabetic / economics*
  • Female
  • Food / economics*
  • Food Supply / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kansas
  • Male
  • Parents