Children with type 1 diabetes have better glycemic control on a school schedule of three breaks compared to those who have two 45-minute breaks, research suggests.
This retrospective research presented at the Canadian Pediatric Endocrine Group Scientific Meeting was conducted by Manpreet Doulla, MD, a fellow at Alberta Children’s Hospital, Canada and colleagues.
They compared 53 students with type 1 diabetes who had a mean age of 11 and on a school day of three breaks – with 64 children who had two breaks. Their mean age was 10.
The researchers believed beforehand that children on three daily injections and a school day of three breaks would have poorer control than similar children having two breaks.
The group on two breaks displayed a significant HbA1c level increase of 0.6 per cent from their summer HbA1c level compared to three months into the school year. Conversely, only a non-significant rise was found in the other group.
While this study sheds light as to how changing meal schedules can affect metabolic control, there are limitations of the study, as explained by Doulla.

“The findings suggest these children appear to have worsening of their diabetes, but we are not drawing a causal relationship between the balanced school day and glycemic control because of the limitations of the study,” Doulla said.
These limitations include differences between groups attending different schools not being accounted for, but the results should be still be considered by families due to the impact that changing routines had on glycemic control.

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