Background: Food exchange lists are one of the main methods of nutritional education. However, Korean food exchange lists have not been revised since 1994. Therefore, we surveyed the opinions of diabetes educators and patients with diabetes regarding the need for revision of the current food exchange lists.
Methods: For two weeks beginning on 10 March 2008, a 12-item questionnaire regarding the opinion and need for revision of the current food exchange lists was e-mailed to diabetes educators nationwide. Another 15-question survey was administered to patients with diabetes in 13 hospitals located in the Seoul and Gyeonggi regions of Korea.
Results: We obtained survey responses from 101 diabetes educators and 209 patients; 65 (64.3%) of the educators answered that the current food exchange lists should be revised. The items that needed revision were the glycemic index, addition of new foods and reaffirmation of exchange standard amounts. The patients demanded specific education about choosing appropriate foods, a balanced meal plan, proper snacks, and dining intake.
Conclusion: Our survey results demonstrate the need to revise the Korean food exchange lists. This process should focus on glycemic index, the addition of new foods and reconfirmation of one exchange reference unit.
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