When a person is first diagnosed with diabetes, one of the first
questions voiced is “What can I eat?” Many will then attend self-management
education classes to learn more - a time when,
unsurprisingly, adherence to the diet is at an all-time high.
Over time however, that adherence
declines, with research suggesting
that among people with diabetes,
long-term adherence to the prescribed
diet rarely increases above 50%.
Why might this be the case when
the consequences of not adhering
are clearly reiterated by every health
professional they see? Contrary to popular belief, adherence to
the diet is impacted by more
than just inadequate knowledge
or poor food choices. As health
professionals, we have a responsibility
to appreciate this complexity.
Predicting who will be adherent to
the diet is very difficult. However
current research indicates four factors
affecting adherence to the diet for
diabetes that I want to discuss -
ones that might surprise you.