Objective: Adolescents with chronic disease are as likely to exhibit risk-taking behavior as their peers. The aim was to investigate the risk behaviors of adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and the effect of orthorexic eating behaviors (OEB) on glycemic control (GC).
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted with 107 adolescents with T1D, aged between 13-18 years and attending high school. The Risk Behavior Scale (RBS) and Orthorexic Behavior Scale (ORTO-11) were administered. A high RBS score indicates risky behavior; a low ORTO-11 score suggests a tendency to OEB. Participants hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) status was used to assess GC: optimal GC (HbA1c ?7%); or poor GC (HbA1c >7%).
Results: Among females, those with poor GC had significantly lower (p=0.031) ORTO-11 scores than those with optimal GC, which was not the case in males. A significant correlation (r=0.358, p<0.001) was found between HbA1c and total RBS, eating habits subscale, and suicidal tendency subscale scores. Participants with poor GC had significantly higher eating habits subscale, alcohol use, and tobacco use subscale scores (p<0.05). Among females, total RBS and suicidal tendency subscale score was found to be significantly higher in those with poor GC; among males, alcohol subscale score was found to be significantly higher in those with poor GC.
Conclusion: This study is the first to show the effect of the tendency for OEB on GC among female adolescents with T1D. The study showed that, along with inappropriate eating behaviors, adolescents with T1D should also be assessed for other risk behaviors to help achieve optimal GC.