Online program can support self-management of type 2 diabetes

Monday, 28 August, 2023

Online program can support self-management of type 2 diabetes

A Deakin University study has found web-based dietary education can support the self-management of type 2 diabetes alongside standard care.

The findings from the T2Diet Study suggest that a low carbohydrate nutrition program delivered online can improve blood sugar control and assist those living with the condition to achieve health improvements in a short time.

The 16-week randomised controlled trial was conducted remotely and involved 98 people with type 2 diabetes from metropolitan, regional, rural and remote parts of Australia. The study offered one group the T2Diet Program alongside standard care while the other group continued only with their standard care program.

Participants on the T2Diet Program improved their health significantly more than the group exclusively receiving standard care, including reductions in blood sugar levels, weight, body mass index and diabetes medication.

Dr Jedha Dening, who led the research through her PhD at Deakin’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), said the study showed that participants in the program group experienced an average reduction in HbA1c (blood sugar level) of almost 1%, a clinically meaningful achievement in 16 weeks.

“The program helps people improve their nutrition knowledge, better understand their diabetes and build the confidence to make choices that more closely align with their diabetes health goals,” Dening said.

Program participants also reduced diabetes medications (25% reduced their medications by more than 20%) and 38% lost more than 5% in weight, which is a clinical recommendation. Those receiving standard care had minimal weight loss and increased medications.

Dening also mentioned that the online component not only played an important role in treatment, but that it attempts to solve the issue of accessibility for those with type 2 diabetes, such as in regional, rural or remote communities, given that dietary education and support can be difficult to access.

“The findings of this study show the enormous potential to provide more effective care that can make a big difference to people living with type 2 diabetes,” Dening said.

“Web-based dietary education and support is easy to access and on demand, allowing people to seek information at their convenience and implement changes to their life over time.

“Provided alongside standard care, effective web-based dietary interventions, such as the T2Diet Program, can reach people wherever they are living and deliver the nutrition support that is urgently needed,” Dening said.

Visit the T2Diet program for more information.

Image: Dean, T2Diet study participant. Image courtesy of Deakin University.

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