Attempts by patients to eat “healthily” following a diagnosis could increase their risk of developing other life-threatening conditions, a researcher has warned.
People diagnosed with diabetes tend to pay close attention to their diet, forgoing the sugary foods and drinks that can send blood sugar levels soaring.
However, that can lead to them loading up on foods that are high in sodium or fat, both of which increase their risk of developing heart disease or high blood pressure, according to a paper published in the Journal of Marketing.
The study, by Professor Yu Ma of the Alberta School of Business, found that people have an over-simplistic tendency to divide foods into healthy and unhealthy columns.
Foods in the healthy column are seen as fine to eat whatever the quantity, leading people to over-consume them.
Professor Ma analysed consumer spending data that showed the decisions people make after being diagnosed with major health conditions like diabetes.
Education related to disease and proper nutrition should be a major driver of changing habits, Professor Ma said.
However, people with diabetes should consult a health-care professional to learn about which foods present a risk either now or in the future, he added.
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