Degree Name

Master of Science


Poor glycaemic control has recently been associated with the rate of onset and severity of long term complications associated with diabetes. Obesity is one of the factors known to influence the level of glycaemic control, however, few studies have looked at the relationship between obesity and glycaemic control in populations with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). The aim of this study was to assess the level of glycaemic control of those above the acceptable weight range, to those within the acceptable weight, and to determine whether weight control is an important goal for the IDDM population. Twenty one people with IDDM, aged between 18-30 years, from the lUawarra took part in the study. All were interviewed and anthropometric measurements and blood samples were taken. Weight status was determined by BMI and percent body fat, and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbAlc) levels indicated glycaemic control. The results indicated that although increases in Body Mass Index (BMI) were associated with increases in HbAlc levels, which indicates poor control, the strength of this relationship was not strong. The importance of weight status on glycaemic control was also assessed in light of the impact of other known factors such as exercise and number of insulin injections. The majority of the population indicated that weight control is an important goal for them, and one which most appear to be making a conscious effort to control. The lack of statistical significance of these results was thought to be due, to the small sample size and the fact that the majority of the population studied fitted within the acceptable weight range. Further investigations on a larger population would add weight to these conclusions and allow for fiirther recommendations to be made concerning the emphasis which should be placed on weight control in the management of IDDM.