Functional food knowledge and use in individuals with type 2 diabetes and the relevant factors

Main Article Content

Nezihe Otay Lule
Hatice Simsek
Simge Yilmaz
Umit Cavdar

Keywords

diabetes mellitus, functional food, type 2 diabetes

Abstract

This study aimed to determine the knowledge and use of functional foods in individuals with type 2 diabetes who applied to Dokuz Eylul University Hospital’s Endocrinology Polyclinic, were aged 18 years or older, and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes no earlier than six months from before the study began. The study also focused on the associated factors. This is a cross-sectional study. In an infinite population, the smallest sample size to be achieved was 196 with 50% frequency and 7% error margin. The study was conducted with individuals who visited Dokuz Eylul University Hospital’s Endocrinology Polyclinic between May and July of 2016. The dependent variable is the knowledge and use of functional foods. The independent variables are the socio-demographic and economic characteristics, health status variables, and information sources for functional foods. The study data were collected using a face-to-face questionnaire as well as chi-square and logistic regression analyses. The mean age of the participants was 57.9±11.5 years (21-77), and of them, 58.7% were female (n=115). The frequency of knowing at least one functional food that is effective for balancing the blood sugar was 95.9% (n=188), and the frequency of using this knowledge was 83.7% (n=164). In this study group, the current use of functional food was not affected by sociodemographic variables, diabetes history in family, health perception, compliance with treatment, presence of a chronic disease other than diabetes, receiving nutritional counseling, following a diabetic diet, receiving functional food counseling and having friends and/or acquaintances as information source. The participants who did exercise regularly (OR=3.370, 95%CI=1.201-9.458, p=0.021), provided information from health professionals (OR=3.921, 95%CI=1.106-13.894, p=0.034), and provided information from the internet (OR=4.152, 95%CI=1.176-14.661, p=0.029) had a significantly higher use of functional food currently. Diabetic individuals should be supported to become more informed about functional food that has a growing popularity, and they should also be taught not to consume it without consulting a physician or dietitian. The study suggests that further studies should be conducted to assess functional food, its effects on health, and individuals’ knowledge and frequency of using it, and to make interventions in relation to these subjects.

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