Eating habits and dietary practices among outpatient type 2 diabetic adults in Enugu, Nigeria

  • H.N Henry-Unaeze
  • E.K Ngwu
Keywords: Eating habit; dietary practices; out-patient; type 2 diabetes; nutritional status; adults.


Background: Eating habits and dietary practices have a remarkable effect on the health outcome of an individual.

Objective: This study investigated eating habits and dietary practices of out-patients diabetic adults attending a tertiary health facility in Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: The cross-sectional survey was conducted in the Out-patients Diabetic clinic of University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu Nigeria. A total of 370 respondents were purposively selected from the hospital’s diabetic attendance. Information on eating habits and dietary practices was obtained with a validated structured interviewer-administered questionnaire. Data collected were analyzed with IBM Statistical Product for Service Solution version 21. Results were presented with descriptive statistics and Chi-Square.

Result: Many (77.3%) of the subjects had 3meals per day, 62.1% did not take snacks, and 63.8% consumed home foods. There were occasional outdoor eating (82.2%) mainly due to ceremonies (45.2%), 67% took supplements, 53.5% had knowledge of nutrition fact, and 44.3% desired weight reduction. Some consumed vegetables (67.3%) and fruits (39.5%) > once/day, 81.4% consumed 94g to 188g meat portion/meal and 76.2% consumed fish >2 times per week. Preference of poultry/fish over red meat/pork/fried meat was sometimes for 45.4% of the respondents. Up to 56.8% consumed appreciable quantities of grains/starches, 67% ate desserts, and 55.1% consumed baked foods < once/week. Some (61.9%) took coffee ≤3 cups/week and 78.4% took salted fast foods ≤ once/week, and 63.8% consumed non-hydrogenated vegetable oils. Relationships exist between socio-demographic/economic characteristics, eating habits and dietary practices.

Conclusion: The study showed that appreciable percent of the diabetics studied can make informed choices although significant proportions need comprehensive nutrition education on eating habits and adherence to dietary guidance.

Keywords: Eating habit; dietary practices; out-patient; type 2 diabetes; nutritional status; adults.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2635-3326
print ISSN: 2141-8209