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Dietary education must fit into everyday life: a qualitative study of people with a Pakistani background and type 2 diabetes

Authors Hempler NF, Nicic S, Ewers B, Willaing I

Received 12 November 2014

Accepted for publication 29 December 2014

Published 26 February 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 347—354


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Nana F Hempler,1 Sara Nicic,1 Bettina Ewers,2 Ingrid Willaing1

1Health Promotion Research, Steno Diabetes Center, Gentofte, Denmark; 2Nutrition and Food Services Department, Steno Diabetes Center, Gentofte, Denmark

Background: The high prevalence of diabetes among South Asian populations in European countries partially derives from unhealthy changes in dietary patterns. Limited studies address perspectives of South Asian populations with respect to utility of diabetes education in everyday life. This study explores perspectives on dietary diabetes education and healthy food choices of people living in Denmark who have a Pakistani background and type 2 diabetes.
Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted between October 2012 and December 2013 with 12 participants with type 2 diabetes who had received dietary diabetes education. Data analysis was systematic and was based on grounded theory principles.
Results: Participants described the process of integrating and utilizing dietary education in everyday life as challenging. Perceived barriers of the integration and utilization included a lack of a connection between the content of the education and life conditions, a lack of support from their social networks for dietary change, difficulty integrating the education into everyday life, and failure to include the participants’ taste preferences in the educational setting.
Conclusion: Dietary education that is sensitive to the attitudes, wishes, and preferences of the participants and that aims at establishing a connection to the everyday life of the participants might facilitate successful changes in dietary practices among people with a Pakistani background and type 2 diabetes. The findings suggest that more focus should be placed on collaborative processes in the dietary educational setting in order to achieve appropriate education and to improve communication between this population and health care professionals.

Keywords: dietary diabetes education, healthy food choices, Pakistani background, type 2 diabetes, patient perspectives, preferences

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