THE DIETARY INTAKE OF YOUNG CHILDREN (2-7 YEARS) WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES COMPARED WITH THE NEW MYPLATE RECOMMENDATIONS.
University of Kansas
Dietetics & Nutrition
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Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is estimated to be the third most common chronic disease in young people. Management of T1DM is complex, and if treatment is inadequate, a wide variety of complications may arise. Dietary management is crucial for maintaining near-normal blood sugar levels; however, there is currently no gold standard for measuring adherence to the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) recommendations. MyPlate is the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) new visual tool that serves as a guide for healthy eating at meal times; however, there are no published data to determine if people are meeting the goals MyPlate proposes. The purpose of this thesis was to determine if the dietary intake of young children with T1DM is meeting the new MyPlate recommendations. Data for this study were compiled from one previously conducted study and two ongoing studies to generate a sample size of fifty-five young children (ages 2-7). Three-day diet records were obtained for each subject and analyzed using Nutrition Data Systems for Research (NDSR). Myplate Meal scores and USDA daily scores were calculated using a newly developed scoring system. The Healthy Eating Index (HEI), a validated measure of diet quality, was calculated for all subjects to compare to the new scoring systems. Participants consumed 68% of the daily recommendation for fruit, 43% of the recommendation for vegetables, 59% of the recommendation for grains, 74% of the recommendation for dairy, and 60% of the recommendation for protein based on age-appropriate MyPlate recommendations. Moreover 89% of the children did not meet the recommendation to make half of their grains whole grains based on MyPlate. The average HEI score was significantly correlated with percent calories from saturated fat intake (p=.000), and with the USDA daily score (p=.000), but not with the MyPlate Meal score. Both Body Mass Index (BMI) and Hemoglobin A1c were not significantly correlated with the Myplate Meal score, USDA Day score or HEI score; however, the correlations were trending in the negative direction. No significant relationship was found between fruit and vegetable intake and BMI percentile, and no significant relation was found between percent calories from saturated fat and protein intake. There was a significant positive relationship between dairy intake and percent calories from saturated fat intake (p=0.04), suggesting higher intake of dairy was associated with higher percent calories from saturated fat intake in children. My research suggests that children with T1DM are not meeting the MyPlate recommendations. Adhering to the recommendations would be beneficial to reduce the risk of short and long-term complications. MyPlate could serve as an educational tool for health professionals to use in educating families and children with T1DM about healthy eating in a practical, diabetes specific manner.
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