Gender and diet management in type 2 diabetes

Elena Dimcheva Dimova, Vivien Swanson, Josie MM Evans

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Abstract

Introduction
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic health condition that requires ongoing self-management. This often includes changes in diet, which may be open to influences from relatives. Family support in terms of diet may be linked with gender and the assumption that meal preparation is a traditionally female activity. This article looks at the role of gender in diet management in people with type 2 diabetes and their relatives.

Methods
Seventeen semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 participants (10 people with type 2 diabetes, 13 relatives of people with type 2 diabetes) in Scotland, UK. The aim was to uncover changes people have made to their diet following diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in oneself or a family member. Data were analysed using Framework Approach.

Findings: Female relatives were more likely to manage the patient’s diet while male relatives provided support but were less likely to monitor the person’s diet. Female patients may prioritise the needs of their family while male patients are more likely to rely on their female relatives in terms of diet management.

Discussion
The study findings have implications for family-based interventions as gender may play a crucial role in the management of type 2 diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalChronic Illness
Early online date17 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • type 2 diabetes
  • diet management
  • family
  • gender
  • interviews

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