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Intuitive eating is associated with glycemic control in type 2 diabetes

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The intuitive eating approach has shown promise, but studies on its association with diabetics are scarce. The aim of this study is to identify the association between intuitive eating and glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus.


This is an observational cross-sectional analytical study in patients at the endocrinology service of a university hospital in Vitória/ES, Brazil. For data collection, a semi-structured questionnaire was used and intuitive eating was assessed by Intuitive Eating Scale-2.


A total of 179 individuals, mostly female and elderly, and predominantly taking oral antidiabetic drugs without association with insulin were evaluated. In adjusting for the total scale score, the most intuitive eating was associated with lower chances of patients presenting inadequate glycemic control by 89% (OR = 0.114; CI 0.024–0.540; p = 0.006), and a higher score on the Body–Food–Choice Congruence subscale was associated with lower chances of participants presenting this inadequacy by almost 66% (OR = 0.341; CI 0.131–0.891; p = 0.028), regardless of their body mass index.


Eating intuitively, especially in accordance with body needs may be associated with lower chances of type 2 diabetics having inadequate glycemic control.

Level of evidence

Level V, cross-sectional descriptive study.

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The authors thank all research participants and the university hospital staff who collaborated in this work.


This work was funded by the Espírito Santo Research and Innovation Support Foundation (FAPES) through a scholarship for undergraduate students.

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Authors and Affiliations



All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by FLPS, MHR, MG, RPP, JSB, MC and LBS. The first draft of the manuscript was written by FLPS and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Fabíola Lacerda Pires Soares.

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The author reports no conflicts of interest in this work.

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All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the Helsinki declaration and its subsequent amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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All individuals were fully informed about the study and consented their participation by signing the consent forms.

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Soares, F.L.P., Ramos, M.H., Gramelisch, M. et al. Intuitive eating is associated with glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. Eat Weight Disord 26, 599–608 (2021).

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