Is bedtime supper necessary for older children with diabetes using glargine insulin in multiple daily injection regimens?


Fergus J. Cameron, Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Flemington Road, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia. E-mail:


Diabet. Med. 27, 238–241 (2010)


Aims  Current guidelines for dietary management of Type 1 diabetes in children recommend a carbohydrate supper before bed. However, with the introduction of insulin analogues such as glargine (with a basal insulin profile), supper may be unnecessary. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether supper is required to prevent nocturnal hypoglycaemia when using multiple daily injections, with glargine as the basal insulin and rapid-acting insulin pre-meals, in older children with Type 1 diabetes.

Methods  Thirty-five children aged 10–18 years with Type 1 diabetes were recruited to a randomized cross-over trial (supper vs. no supper). Each phase consisted of three consecutive days of wearing a continuous glucose-monitoring system (CGMS) to record nocturnal blood glucose levels in the home setting. The supper phase included one 15-g carbohydrate dairy snack consumed before bed. The evening meals were standardized. Activity was restricted.

Results  Valid CGMS data were obtained for 163 nights (85 supper, 78 no supper). Nocturnal hypoglycaemia rates were similar in the supper and no-supper groups (32.9% vs. 33.3% of nights; P = 0.96).

Conclusions  This study suggests that supper is not necessary for all children to prevent nocturnal hypoglycaemia when using glargine insulin. The recommendation for inclusion of supper should be individually tailored and not mandatory.