Intuitive eating is associated with glycemic control in type 2 diabetes

Eat Weight Disord. 2021 Mar;26(2):599-608. doi: 10.1007/s40519-020-00894-8. Epub 2020 Mar 30.


Purpose: The intuitive eating approach has shown promise, but studies on its association with diabetics are scarce. The aim of this study is to identify the association between intuitive eating and glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Methods: This is an observational cross-sectional analytical study in patients at the endocrinology service of a university hospital in Vitória/ES, Brazil. For data collection, a semi-structured questionnaire was used and intuitive eating was assessed by Intuitive Eating Scale-2.

Results: A total of 179 individuals, mostly female and elderly, and predominantly taking oral antidiabetic drugs without association with insulin were evaluated. In adjusting for the total scale score, the most intuitive eating was associated with lower chances of patients presenting inadequate glycemic control by 89% (OR = 0.114; CI 0.024-0.540; p = 0.006), and a higher score on the Body-Food-Choice Congruence subscale was associated with lower chances of participants presenting this inadequacy by almost 66% (OR = 0.341; CI 0.131-0.891; p = 0.028), regardless of their body mass index.

Conclusion: Eating intuitively, especially in accordance with body needs may be associated with lower chances of type 2 diabetics having inadequate glycemic control.

Level of evidence: Level V, cross-sectional descriptive study.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; Eating behavior; Glycosylated hemoglobin; Nutrition.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose
  • Body Mass Index
  • Brazil
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / drug therapy
  • Eating
  • Female
  • Glycemic Control
  • Humans
  • Male


  • Blood Glucose