14 Nov 2017

As part of World Diabetes Day (Tuesday 14 November), the Trust’s dietetics team have written a blog post for NHS England London on the theme of women and diabetes. Alison Sullivan, Head of Nutrition and Dietetics and Kelly Scanlon, Specialist Mental Health Dietitian, discuss how the Trust’s service users can often be at risk of diabetes and talk through the ways in which women can still lead happy lives by working around the condition.

In the post, they write:

“Our female in-patients are sometimes classed as more obese than their male counterparts because they have a greater percentage of body fat — especially in the centre of the body — which is a risk factor for the development of diabetes. Women tend to require fewer calories than men (due to smaller frames and muscle size) therefore need to obtain all the nutrients they require for health within less food. Our dietetics team is trying hard to ensure that food consumed by our diabetic female service users is nutritious and offers a range of vitamins and minerals to sustain them.

For example, we’ve adapted our menus to ensure there are healthy options which cater for those with diabetes. These are developed by fully-qualified and experienced dietitians, and our chefs work closely with service users to make sure we have healthy variations of what people like to eat while they are under our care.

A specialist dietitian is also assigned to a service user living with mental health issues and experiencing the symptoms of diabetes. We work together to construct an individual plan to return blood glucose levels to normal, optimise nutritional health and lifestyle through education, trying new foods/meals and gaining an understanding of emotions around food to manage diabetes and reduce the risk of serious health consequences.”

Read the blog post in full here.