The effectiveness of group dietary counselling among non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) patients in resettlement scheme areas in Malaysia

Ruzita Talib, Osman Ali, Fatimah Arshad, Khalid Abdul Kadir

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A study was undertaken in FELDA (Federal Land Development Authority) resettlement scheme areas in Pahang, Malaysia, to determine the effectiveness of group dietary counselling in motivating diabetic patients to achieve good dietary habits, and weight and diabetes control. Sixty-one non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) patients were randomly assigned to either the experimental or control group. The experimental group received six sessions of group dietary counselling over 5 months and the control group received mass media diabetes-educational program during the same period. The one hour group dietary counselling sessions discussed general knowledge of diabetes, food groups for meal planning, the importance of dietary fibre-rich foods, types of fat in food, exercise and weight control. The experimental group met monthly with a dietitian as a counsellor. Effectiveness was assessed by improvement in food choice, and decline in percentage glycated haemoglobin (total HbAl) or body mass index (BMI). Measurements were made at a baseline visit, every two months during the six month program, and six months afterwards. Patients in the experimental group improved their food choices, resulting in a healthier diet high in unrefined carbohydrates and dietary fibre rich foods, and low in fat. There were significant reductions of their percentage total HbAl levels and BMI following the counselling sessions, which decreased further six months after the program compared with patients in the control group. Thus group dietary counselling is effective in motivating NIDDM patients to achieve better food choice, and related weight and glycaemic control in a Malaysian setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-87
Number of pages4
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • BMI
  • Chinese
  • Diabetes education
  • Glycaemic control
  • Group dietary counselling
  • HbA1
  • Indian
  • Malay
  • Malaysia
  • Non-insulin dependant diabetes mellitus
  • Pahang
  • Weight

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