Behavioural implications of traditional treatment and closed-loop automated insulin delivery systems in Type 1 diabetes: applying a cognitive restraint theory framework

Diabet Med. 2017 Nov;34(11):1500-1507. doi: 10.1111/dme.13407. Epub 2017 Sep 11.


As the prevalence of obesity in Type 1 diabetes rises, the effects of emerging therapy options should be considered in the context of both weight and glycaemic control outcomes. Artificial pancreas device systems will 'close the loop' between blood glucose monitoring and automated insulin delivery and may transform day-to-day dietary management for people with Type 1 diabetes in multiple ways. In the present review, we draw directly from cognitive restraint theory to consider unintended impacts that closed-loop systems may have on ingestive behaviour and food intake. We provide a brief overview of dietary restraint theory and its relation to weight status in the general population, discuss the role of restraint in traditional Type 1 diabetes treatment, and lastly, use this restraint framework to discuss the possible behavioural implications and opportunities of closed-loop systems in the treatment of Type 1 diabetes. We hypothesize that adopting closed-loop systems will lift the diligence and restriction that characterizes Type 1 diabetes today, thus requiring a transition from a restrained eating behaviour to a non-restrained eating behaviour. Furthermore, we suggest this transition be leveraged as an opportunity to teach people lifelong eating behaviour to promote healthy weight status by incorporating education and cognitive reappraisal. Our aim was to use a transdisciplinary approach to highlight critical aspects of the emerging closed-loop technologies relating to eating behaviour and weight effects and to promote discussion of strategies to optimize long-term health in Type 1 diabetes via two key outcomes: glycaemic control and weight management.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / instrumentation
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / methods
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology
  • Health Behavior / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin Infusion Systems*
  • Models, Psychological
  • Pancreas, Artificial*
  • Self-Control / psychology


  • Insulin