Literature is lacking on the impact of diet quality on glycemic control in those with type 2 diabetes (T2DM), especially African Americans with T2DM. 211 African American adults with T2DM and A1c ≥ 7.0% were randomized into intervention (26 sessions) and control (2 sessions) for an 18-month randomized community-based control trial, Lifestyle Improvement Through Food and Exercise (LIFE), assessing the impact of culturally-relevant lifestyle education on glycemic control. Participants lived in low-income Chicago-area neighborhoods and had regular medical care. Diet quality was assessed via 24-hour recall and translated into the Alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010 (AHEI-2010). AHEI-2010 total scores (0-110: higher score=healthier pattern) for intervention (n=95) and control (n=92) respectively were baseline: 47.4 ± 1.1 vs. 51.2 ± 1.1, 12 months: 51.4 ± 1.0 vs. 50.5 ± 1.1, 18 months: 50.3 ± 1.2 vs. 51.6 ± 1.2. Using repeated measures ANOVA, the AHEI-2010 18 month increase from baseline was significantly higher in the intervention group, df (2, 370), F (3.18), p=0.043. A1c% decline over 18 months (intervention: 9.1 ± 0.2 to 8.5 ± 0.2; control: 8.9 ± 0.2 to 8.6 ± 0.2, p<0.001) was significant but there was no difference between groups. Absolute AHEI-2010 scores by hierarchical multilinear regression, regardless of study group, accounted for improved glycemic control by 1.6% at 12 months and by 2.3% at 18 months after adjusting for age, insulin use, and number of diabetes complications at baseline. While the impact of higher diet quality on glycemic control was small, overall dietary change in this study was also small. With 41.2% of participants living below the poverty line, limited access to healthy foods might have hampered greater dietary change.


B. Tahsin: None. K.S. Keim: None. L. Fogelfeld: None. L. Fogg: None. E. Lynch: None.


National Institutes of Health

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