Numeracy and dietary intake in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Bowen ME, Cavanaugh KL, Wolff K, Davis D, Gregory B, Rothman RL
Diabetes Educ. 2013 39 (2): 240-7

PMID: 23399688 · PMCID: PMC4127807 · DOI:10.1177/0145721713475841

PURPOSE - The purpose of this study is to describe the association between numeracy and self-reported dietary intake in patients with type 2 diabetes.

METHODS - Numeracy and dietary intake were assessed with the validated Diabetes Numeracy Test and a validated food frequency questionnaire in a cross-sectional study of 150 primary care patients enrolled in a randomized clinical trial at an academic medical center between April 2008 and October 2009. Associations between numeracy and caloric and macronutrient intakes were examined with linear regression models.

RESULTS - Patients with lower numeracy consumed a higher percentage of calories from carbohydrates and lower percentages from protein and fat. However, no differences in energy consumption or the percentage of energy intake owing to carbohydrates, fat, or protein were observed in adjusted analyses. Patients with lower numeracy were significantly more likely to report extremely high or low energy intake inconsistent with standard dietary intake.

CONCLUSIONS - Numeracy was not associated with dietary intake in adjusted analyses. Low numeracy was associated with inaccurate dietary reporting. Providers who take dietary histories in patients with diabetes may need to consider numeracy in their assessment of dietary intake.

MeSH Terms (21)

Cross-Sectional Studies Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 Diet Dietary Carbohydrates Educational Measurement Educational Status Energy Intake Female Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice Health Literacy Humans Male Mathematics Middle Aged Nutrition Assessment Patient Education as Topic Primary Health Care Reading Surveys and Questionnaires Tennessee Texas

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