Introduction: Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) can have a profound impact on diabetes prevention and treatment. However, most patients with diabetes do not receive MNT interventions. The aim of this survey was to identify current and desired usage of MNT interventions.
Methods: Surveys were distributed to adults at San Antonio Military Medical Center and Wilford Hall Medical Center in the fall of 2018. Data included self-reported comorbidities, a validated dietary assessment, current and desired usage of MNT interventions, and current and desired nutrition recommendations from primary care providers.
Results: 446 surveys were collected. Self-reported prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes were 23% and 5% respectively. Most respondents (79%) stated they need to eat healthier. Only 41% of respondents ate home-cooked meals at least once daily. Current and desired MNT utilization ranged from 3-15% and 10-26% respectively. The largest gaps between current and desired MNT utilization were nutritional cooking classes (19.3%) and grocery store tours (9.9%). Most respondents (69%) desired an online nutritional cooking class. Most respondents (58%) stated they would cook at home more often if they knew how to cook quick, healthy, inexpensive meals. Frequency of nutrition recommendations by primary care providers ranged from 0.4-6.1%. Results were similar among those with the least and most healthy diets, and when only including patients with diabetes and prediabetes.
Conclusion: Most surveyed patients recognize the need to eat healthier. Desired MNT utilization is relatively low, but higher than current MNT utilization. Primary care provider nutrition recommendations are rare. Online nutritional cooking classes may provide a novel and highly desired form of nutrition therapy. Our institution is currently developing an online nutritional cooking class.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the official views or policy of the Department of Defense or its Components.
P.G. Clerc: None. J.L. Wardian: None.