Type 2 diabetes in a rapidly urbanizing region of Ghana, West Africa: a qualitative study of dietary preferences, knowledge and practices.
Sommaire de l'article
Urban centers in Sub-Saharan Africa, such as Kumasi, Ghana, are especially impacted by the dual burden of infectious and non-communicable disease (NCD), including a rise in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) prevalence. To develop effective intervention programs, the World Health Organization recommends more research to better understand the relationship between food consumption and the escalation of non-communicable disease such as T2DM. This study provides qualitative information about current food knowledge, attitudes and practices among T2DM patients and their caregivers in the region of Kumasi, Ghana.
In this qualitative study, three focus groups discussions of 30 persons total and 10 individual interviews were used to assess food preferences, knowledge, attitudes and practices of patients with T2DM as well as caregivers responsible for food preparation. Participants included both urban and rural dwellers. Hospital-based health talks were observed, a dietician was interviewed, and educational documents were collected. Themes were identified and coded using Nvivo10 software.
Findings suggest that messages regarding sweetened foods, fats, use of seasonings and meal timing are followed. However, confusion exists regarding the impact of fruits, food portioning, plantains and processed foods on health outcomes for diabetic patients. Results also revealed a problem-solving approach to increasing vegetable consumption, and a concern about unhealthy food preferences among younger generations.
Education about the impact of commonly available carbohydrates on blood sugar should be emphasized; messaging on portion sizes and certain foods should be more consistent; the economic benefits of local vegetable consumption should be promoted; and a research-informed, T2DM prevention campaign should be developed specifically for younger generations.