Alcohol health literacy in young adults with Type 1 diabetes and its impact on diabetes management
Barnard KD., Dyson P., Sinclair JMA., Lawton J., Anthony D., Cranston M., Holt RIG.
© 2014 Diabetes UK. Aims: To investigate the knowledge of alcohol and carbohydrate content of commonly consumed alcoholic drinks among young adults with Type 1 diabetes and to explore alcohol consumption while identifying diabetes self-management strategies used to minimize alcohol-associated risk. Method: We conducted an open-access, multiple-choice web survey to investigate knowledge of alcohol and carbohydrate content of typical alcoholic drinks using images. Respondents to the survey also recorded their current alcohol consumption and diabetes self-management strategies when drinking. Results: A total of 547 people aged 18-30 years responded to the survey (341 women; 192 men; mean (sd) age 24.5 (3.7) years), of whom 365 (66.7%) drank alcohol. In all, 84 (32.9%) women and 31 (22.6%) men scored higher than the cut-off score for increased-risk drinking. Knowledge accuracy of alcohol units was poor: only 7.3% (n = 40) correctly identified the alcohol content of six or more out of 10 drinks. Knowledge of carbohydrate content was also poor: no respondent correctly identified the carbohydrate content of six or more out of 10 drinks. Various and inconsistent strategies to minimize alcohol-associated risk were reported. Conclusions: Alcohol consumption was common among the survey respondents, but knowledge of alcohol and carbohydrate content was poor. Greater alcohol-related health literacy is required to minimize alcohol-associated risk. Further research should help develop effective strategies to improve health literacy and support safe drinking for young adults with Type 1 diabetes.