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Background: Diet is central to the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Depending on the stage of the disease at which the recommended diet is initiated, optimal adherence can reduce HbA1c by about 1 to 2%. However, evidence on eating behavior is generally scarce including in Ethiopia. The present study aimed to assess the eating behavior of adults with T2DM in North Ethiopia. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 421 adults with T2DM from September to November 2019. Socio-demographic variables were collected using structured questionnaires; an asset-based wealth index was used to determine socioeconomic status. Three dimensions of eating behavior were assessed using Likert-type items: food selection, meal planning and calorie recognition. Raw Likert scores in each dimension were transformed to percent scales to maximum (%SM). Participants’ behavior in each dimension was categorized into healthy and unhealthy taking 66.7% SM score as a cutoff. Overall eating behavior was determined by aggregating ranks scored in the three dimensions. Correlates of overall eating behavior were identified using Chi-square test and multinomial logistic regression with statistical significance set at P-value < 0.05. Result: Only 1% of the participants had overall healthy eating behavior. Yet, overall unhealthy eating was apparent in 54.4%. By dimensions, healthy eating behaviors in food selection, meal planning and calorie recognition were seen in 43.5, 7.4 and 2.9% participants, respectively. Factors that were positively associated with having healthy eating behavior in one dimension relative to unhealthy in all were: receiving nutrition education [AOR 1.73; CI 1.09, 2.74], female gender [AOR 1.78; CI 1.03, 3.08] & being in 26–44 age category [AOR 3.7; CI 1.56, 8.85]. But, being in the poor [AOR 0.42; CI 0.16, 1.32] or average [AOR 0.54; CI 0.19, 1.55] socioeconomic strata were negatively associated. However, only receiving nutrition education [AOR 3.65; CI 1.31, 10.18] was significantly associated with having healthy behavior in two eating dimensions over unhealthy in all. Conclusion: In North Ethiopia, the overall eating behavior of adults with T2DM is extremely poor. Diverse and integrated approaches including nutrition education during consultation should be implemented to address the gap.
Gebreyesus, H. A., Abreha, G. F., Besherae, S. D., Abera, M. A., Weldegerima, A. H., Kidane, E. G., … Nigatu, T. G. (2021). Eating behavior among persons with type 2 diabetes mellitus in North Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study. BMC Endocrine Disorders, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12902-021-00750-5