European Project “Eat Better, Live Better” in which IDF Europe partners with its member association from Portugal and France, launches a questionnaire on eating habits of adults living with type 2 diabetes
Healthy eating has the power to improve the quality of life for everyone, especially for those with diabetes. To help health professionals and people with diabetes in this safe change in dietary patterns in diabetes, the European project ‘Eat Better, Live Better’ aims to promote a healthy and sustainable diet for people with type 2 diabetes. To achieve this, the first step is to understand the eating habits and attitudes of Portuguese and French citizens who live with this condition.
The initiative, which also aims to contribute to the development of sustainable food systems, is the result of a partnership between the APDP – Diabetes Portugal, the French Diabetes Federation and the International Diabetes Federation – Europe and is sponsored by the international movement ‘Healthy Food Healthy Planet’.
“For those with diabetes, food is crucial for the good management of the disease and should be considered as part of the therapeutic plan. Introducing more products of plant origin in the diet is fundamental, even as a measure that can lead to a lower intake of medication”, explains Rogério Ribeiro, biomedical researcher at APDP and project lead of the initiative ‘Eat Better, Live Better’.
Eating habits have changed over the years and the nutritional options of the population today include concerns about health, but also about the environment. “It has been observed that a diet rich in plant products is associated with better health outcomes. With this initiative, we intend to promote the adoption of more conscious choices and improve the quality of life and well-being of people with diabetes, leading to everyone eating better, and above all, living better.”, explains the researcher, adding that, “our food consumption interferes with the environment and biodiversity and it is in this context that sustainable food emerges, as a solution for a greater balance between food production, health and environmental protection.”
For Bastien Roux, Director-general of the French Diabetes Federation, “we are starting a movement in diabetes towards a food program with greater inclusion of vegetables. With this sharing of knowledge, we can create something with impact that helps people with diabetes in their daily lives”.
According to Elisabeth Dupont, Regional Manager of the International Diabetes Federation European Region, “In Europe, policymakers and stakeholders are increasingly recognising the vital necessity of integrating One Health concept across all action areas as human health is tightly interlinked with the health of animals and the environment. With our project ‘Eat Better, Live Better’ we are trying to achieve a positive impact on the daily lives and health outcomes of people living with diabetes, while contributing to the transition to sustainable and healthy food environments. In times of permacrisis, this has to become a priority.”
Food education is fundamental in the treatment plan of all people with diabetes, and it does not need to be restrictive and monotonous. Experimenting other ways of preparing and cooking food, using more plant-based foods, with a greater variety of nutrients and less salt, are some of the changes that can be made.
The project has just launched a questionnaire on the eating habits and attitudes of people with type 2 diabetes towards plant-based diets. The questionnaire, aimed at: