The primary objective of the current study was to explore the relationship between 2 dietary behaviours — (i) fruit and vegetable intake and (ii) dietary fat intake — with body mass index (BMI) and physical activity. A secondary objective was to examine the reliability of these relationships at 6 and 18 months. Demographic factors, including height and weight to calculate BMI, were self-reported by a sample of adults with type 2 diabetes (n=1614) recruited through the Canadian Diabetes Association registry and through random-digit dialling. Physical activity levels were assessed using the Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire, while fruit, vegetable and dietary fat intake were measured using the Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities Measure. These variables were assessed at 3 time points: baseline, 6 months and 18 months. Two-way between-group analysis of variance was conducted separately for fruit and vegetable consumption and fat intake in order to examine the association of BMI categories and activity level and their interactions with these dietary behaviours. At baseline, participants reported consuming 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables 5.2 days per week and high-fat foods 1.6 days per week. The mean BMI was 29.3 kg/m2, and 65% of participants were inactive (i.e. not meeting physical activity guidelines). There was a statistically significant main effect for both BMI (F=11.58, p<0.001) and activity level (F=18.45, p<0.001) for fruit and vegetable consumption, as well as a significant main effect for BMI when examining fat intake (F=5.42, p<0.01). The findings at 6 months were similar to baseline results, but were different at 18 months. Across the 3 study time points, there were no interactions observed for physical activity or BMI with either diet variable. Obese individuals reported significantly lower fruit consumption and higher fat consumption compared to their overweight and healthy-weight counterparts. Active individuals had a higher fruit and vegetable intake. These results will help guide the development of diabetes education programs that are tailored to better meet the needs of people with type 2 diabetes.
Canadian Journal of Diabetes Vol. 33, Issue 1, p. 27-34