Telemedicine may help individuals with type 2 diabetes improve their diet

Type 2 diabetes requires significant amounts of dietary planning and continued consumption of healthy foods. However, due to the struggling economy, low wages and high unemployment, many individuals with the condition are finding it difficult to maintain a healthy diet and to stay in touch with their physicians.

A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior has found that telemedicine, which allows patients to communicate with their doctors electronically, may help solve some of these problems.

Researchers from the State University of New York in Syracuse said that as many as 10 percent of adults with diabetes consider money to be a problem when it comes to sticking to a nutritious diet. However, after a round of counseling via telemedicine that covered less expensive ways they can stick to dietary recommendations, researchers found that a majority of participants improved their diets.

"This study demonstrated that among participants classified as both food secure and mildly insecure, individuals were usually able to follow the dietitian's advice," said Ruth Weinstock, who led the investigation. "This finding suggests that telemedical nutrition support services have the potential to be an important adjunct for primary care providers whose patients have poor access to the services of dietitians."

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