The degree of day-to-day variation in food intake in diabetic patients

Diabet Med. 1993 Jul;10(6):514-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.1993.tb00112.x.


A prospective study of food intake using 7 day food diaries was undertaken in 92 diabetic men and women aged 17-81 years. The median individual day-to-day coefficients of variation for energy intake were: in insulin treated patients 12.0%, in non-insulin treated patients 13.7%; for carbohydrate intake 14.5% and 13.8% and for fat 20.7% and 20.8%, respectively. The median individual differences between the minimum and maximum daily intake of energy in insulin treated patients was 787 kcal, in non-insulin treated patients 649 kcal, for carbohydrate intake 89g and 77g and fat 50g and 43g, respectively. Only 39% patients ate within 20% of their prescribed carbohydrate diet. In non-insulin treated patients on prescribed calorie controlled diets, calorie consumption was on average 46% in excess of that prescribed. Although the variation in dietary intake in diabetic patients is large, it is smaller than that reported in non-diabetic subjects in the UK. This variation is likely to make the manipulation of other antidiabetic therapy both difficult and somewhat arbitrary.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Diet Records*
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Energy Intake*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Factors


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A