Owen J. Kelly, Elizabeth Deya Edelen, Anika Sharma, Karishma Kashyap, Radhika Patel, Samyukthaa Saiprakash, Ali Shah, Sriya Konduri

Decoding Diabetes Nutritional Guidelines for Physicians in Underserved American Populations

  • General Medicine

Medical (healthcare) deserts and food deserts, either separate or combined, exist in rural areas, globally. The physicians and other healthcare professionals who serve rural and other underserved populations, to some extent, also experience life in these areas. Dietary guidelines, from expert societies, for people with diabetes, have been helpful in guiding healthcare professionals through nutritional interventions. However, these guidelines are not designed for rural areas where healthcare resources are scarce, and access to the built environment for a healthy lifestyle and affordable healthy foods are not available. Therefore, the guidelines were reviewed, with rural physicians and healthcare professionals who work in underserved areas in mind, to assess their appropriateness. Based on the guidelines and other literature, potential solutions to guideline gaps are proposed to aid in providing nutritional therapy for the underserved. The overall goals are to improve the nutritional component of healthcare for underserved people with diabetes, and to begin the conversation around creating specific guidelines for rural physicians and other healthcare professionals, where patients are at a higher risk for diabetes.

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