Postprandial glucose metabolism in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus: potential targets for improvement

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2024 Feb;78(2):79-86. doi: 10.1038/s41430-023-01359-8. Epub 2023 Oct 24.


The main goal of therapeutic management of type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) is to maintain optimal glycemic control to prevent acute and long-term diabetes complications and to enable a good quality of life. Postprandial glycemia makes a substantial contribution to overall glycemic control and variability in diabetes and, despite technological advancements in insulin treatments, optimal postprandial glycemia is difficult to achieve. Several factors influence postprandial blood glucose levels in children and adolescents with T1DM, including nutritional habits and adjustment of insulin doses according to meal composition. Additionally, hormone secretion, enteroendocrine axis dysfunction, altered gastrointestinal digestion and absorption, and physical activity play important roles. Meal-time routines, intake of appropriate ratios of macronutrients, and correct adjustment of the insulin dose for the meal composition have positive impacts on postprandial glycemic variability and long-term cardiometabolic health of the individual with T1DM. Further knowledge in the field is necessary for management of all these factors to be part of routine pediatric diabetes education and clinical practice. Thus, the aim of this report is to review the main factors that influence postprandial blood glucose levels and metabolism, focusing on macronutrients and other nutritional and lifestyle factors, to suggest potential targets for improving postprandial glycemia in the management of children and adolescents with T1DM.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Insulin
  • Meals
  • Postprandial Period
  • Quality of Life


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin