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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


PERES, Denise Siqueira; FRANCO, Laércio Joel  and  SANTOS, Manoel Antônio dos. Eating behavior among type 2 diabetes women. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2006, vol.40, n.2, pp.310-317. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To explore type 2 diabetes women's thoughts, feelings and behaviors concerning diet. METHODS: A descriptive, exploratory qualitative study was carried out among eight type 2 diabetes women from a primary health care unit in Southeastern Brazil in January 2003. A semi-structured interview was applied for data collection. The theoretical reference was the theory of social representations. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and then their thematic content was analyzed. RESULTS: The study results showed women's difficulty in following the prescribed diet due to several associated meanings, such as loss of eating and drinking pleasure and loss of eating autonomy and free choice. Following the diet elicits an extremely aversive and restrictive attitude, and complying with it is associated to damage to health. The frequent absence of symptoms was mentioned as one reason that prevents compliance to the diet. Other difficulties reported were touching, looking at, and handling food during their preparation but not being allowed to eat them. Sweet foods revealed to be extremely desired. Transgression and food desire are equally present in their life. Following the recommended diet brings sadness and the act of eating is frequently accompanied by fear, guilt and anger. CONCLUSIONS: Type 2 diabetes women's eating behavior is very complex and needs to be understood from its psychological, biological, social, cultural and economic aspects for promoting more effective educational interventions.

Keywords : Diabetes Mellitus type II [psychology]; Eating behavior; Diabetic diet; Health education.

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