Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Survey of dietary policy and management in British diabetic clinics.

Br Med J 1975; 4 doi: (Published 04 October 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;4:7
  1. A S Truswell,
  2. B J Thomas,
  3. A M Brown


    Questionnaires about dietary policy were sent to 471 physicians in diabetic clinics throughout the United Kingdom, and usable replies were received from 281. Insulin-dependent patients were mostly taught to use carbohydrate-exchange units in regulating their diets; this method was used less often for maturity-onset diabetics. Restriction of sucrose and foods containing concentrated sugars was more rigorous in clinics in teaching hospitals than elsewhere; paediatric clinics were the most liberal. Maturity onset diabetics were generally advised to restrict their fat intake, but most clinics did not restrict fat for their insulin-dependent patients. Again teaching-hospital clinics were the most restrictive. Patients were rarely encouraged to weigh their food. In general physicians thought that insulin-dependent patients adhered to their diets but maturity-onset patients did not. There is uncertainty about the ideal dietary policy for diabetics and the best way of helping patients to follow the regimen prescribed.