Nutrition Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes in Chinese Populations: A Scoping Review


Developing culturally appropriate diabetes nutrition interventions for immigrants could be facilitated knowing what is successful in the home country and other relevant countries. The primary purpose of this scoping review was to identify the design and delivery methods of nutrition interventions for Chinese populations with type 2 diabetes, in their home countries and as immigrants to western countries. A total of 14 articles was retrieved and included. Overall, the approaches used in China often were modelled on intensive lifestyle programs although alternative strategies were also identified. Most interventions were not focussed solely on nutrition, and only a few were conducted in community settings. Most of the interventions were delivered in a group format, while those conducted in China also included individual counselling, particularly for nutrition. In addition, the diabetes and nutrition-related outcomes, cultural relevance and acceptability, and other factors that influenced protocol compliance were considered. Improvements in blood glucose control were observed in participants in all interventions where it was measured. Participants reported increased nutritional knowledge but nutritional behaviour was generally not well documented. Trials conducted in the United States emphasized the importance of cultural adaptation of intervention programs, particularly with respect to dietary patterns and specific foods. Practice-transferable characteristics are highlighted. Research gaps included trials conducted in community settings with pragmatic implementation and evaluation, comparative trials of interventions to gauge relative effectiveness, and measuring and reporting dietary outcomes for better understanding of the impact on dietary behaviours and their relationship to health outcomes.

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This study was funded by China Scholarship Council and also provided a stipend to FD.

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Correspondence to Catherine Chan.

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Deng, F., Zhang, A. & Chan, C. Nutrition Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes in Chinese Populations: A Scoping Review. J Immigrant Minority Health 21, 1416–1431 (2019).

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  • Immigrant
  • Chinese
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Nutrition
  • Intervention