The pre-school child with diabetes: a cross-cultural survey of dietary habits and parental attitudes
Article first published online: 1 JUN 2005
Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Practical Diabetes International
Volume 22, Issue 3, pages 87–92iii, April 2005
How to Cite
Alexander, V., Wilson, A., Howells, L., Waldron, S., Swift, P., Saha, M., Knip, M., Robertson, K., Jarosz-Chobot, P. and Greene, S. (2005), The pre-school child with diabetes: a cross-cultural survey of dietary habits and parental attitudes. Pract Diab Int, 22: 87–92iii. doi: 10.1002/pdi.763
- Issue published online: 1 JUN 2005
- Article first published online: 1 JUN 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 OCT 2004
- Manuscript Received: 14 SEP 2004
- pre-school child;
- type 1 diabetes
An increasing number of children develop type 1 diabetes (T1D) in the pre-school years. Eating problems in early childhood are common and we wished to observe, in different cultural settings, both the diet of the very young child with diabetes, and parental self-efficacy and emotions relating to their management.
All children less than five years of age with T1D were recruited from eight centres in six countries. Dietary choice was determined using a food intake questionnaire, recalling foods eaten ‘yesterday’. Food choices were compared between the countries with the largest numbers of children (greater than 10)—i.e. Finland, Poland and the UK. A questionnaire was used to assess parental confidence (self-efficacy) in their ability to manage their child's diabetes regimen and feelings (e.g. anxiety, helplessness) experienced whilst undertaking regimen tasks.
Sixty-three children were recruited. Most parents had a good understanding of dietary principles. Children in Finland achieved more healthy food choices, eating more altered fat foods. UK children chose more salty foods and more unhealthy snacks. Both the UK and Polish children ate fewer low sugar products. No significant difference was found between centres in parental self-efficacy in their ability to manage their child's diabetes and the emotions generated by regimen tasks.
The study has shown significant differences between different countries in foods provided and chosen for very young children with diabetes. This may influence glycaemic control and the long-term risks of vascular disease for these very young patients. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.