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Gazzetta Medica Italiana - Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2020 July-August;179(7-8):459-67

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.19.04146-9

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Optimized snacking is positively associated with socioeconomic status and better type 2 diabetes mellitus management in Turkish patients

Angelos K. SIKALIDIS 1 , Merve ÖZTAĞ 2, 3

1 Department of Food Science and Nutrition, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, USA; 2 Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Istanbul Yeni Yuzyil University, Istanbul, Turkey; 3 Department of Endocrinology, Faculty of Medicine, Obesity Polyclinic, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey



BACKGROUND: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) prevalence is increasing worldwide, while incidence/prognosis are strongly affected by diet. Cure remains elusive, hence T2DM management emerges critical, while meal timing, food amount and quality are key for glycemic control. Healthy snack consumption (SC) between meals improves glycemic control by regulating plasma glucose and optimizing insulin secretion. In Turkey, T2DM prevalence is estimated at 13.7% and awareness on SC importance is low. Studies demonstrate a linear relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and T2DM management quality via SC. We aimed to investigate the relationship between SC and T2DM management quality and SES in Turkish patients, an understudied topic to date.
METHODS: 102 adults (57 male, 45 female), T2DM registered patients at Istanbul University Medicine Faculty Hospital, participated. A country-specific questionnaire for Turkey was applied for assessing general demographics, SES, eating habits and SC. Anthropometry, fasting plasma glucose, HbA1c, and blood lipid profile were assessed.
RESULTS: Of participants: 52% were 35-64 years, 29.4% overweight, 71.6% had waist circumference <105 cm. Regarding SES, 40.2% obtained university education, 30.4% had income over 3000 TL/month, medium-high based on Turkish Ministry of Finances scales. 38.2% of participants were T2DM diagnosed for 1-5 years, 64.7% were receiving diabetes education and 44.1% were obtaining T2DM-specific education from dietitians. High SES patients consumed more regularly snacks of better quality compared to lower SES, also exhibiting better T2DM control as assessed by HbA1c.
CONCLUSIONS: SES is positively associated with better SC practices and more effective T2DM management in Turkish patients. Given the increasing prevalence of T2DM in Turkey along with the much understudied landscape it would be beneficial for policy making to increase the study-pool regarding the topic and the country.


KEY WORDS: Diabetes mellitus, type 2; Snacks; Social class; Turkey

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