Objectives: Infertility affects 6.1 million women in the United States. Carbohydrate-controlled diets (CCDs) are utilized as a treatment for subfertility despite a lack of research evidence supporting efficacy. This study sought to assess awareness and perceptions of CCDs as a treatment for subfertility by both the general public and Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs).
Methods: This study combined three surveys open from July 2019 to January 2020 via REDCap™. The 20 question first aim survey was restricted to RDNs and investigated the perceptions of CCD therapy. The survey was emailed via listserv through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The second survey targeted individuals who implemented CCD as a fertility therapy and consisted of 45 questions. The third survey assessed carbohydrate literacy of the general public and consisted of 10 pre-post questions around an educational video. Both the CCD and General Public surveys were distributed to relevant social media groups.
Results: The first survey had 241 RDN respondents. The second survey had 199 CCD respondents. There was a significant difference between how the two groups defined CCD χ^2 (3,440) = 266.3, p < 0.01. Among RDNs, 49.8% selected “Below 45% kcal from carbohydrate/day”. In contrast, 74.87% of the CCD group selected “Below 20g carbohydrate/day”. A total of 39.83% of RDNs were familiar with research regarding the effect of carbohydrate reduction on subfertility markers of which 67.71% believe the body of evidence demonstrates “generally positive outcomes” on markers of fertility. The General Public survey found a statistically significant (p < .05) increase in carbohydrate literacy score (65.14% to 92.70%) following video intervention.
Conclusion: The results of this study highlight the lack of a consistent definition of CCDs between providers and the public. There may be a need for educating providers that research regarding CCD and fertility exists, but effectiveness of CCDs as a treatment cannot be properly assessed without an agreed upon definition.
|Department:||Department of Nutrition|
|School Location:||United States -- Washington|
|Source:||MAI 82/1(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Carbohydrate control, Fertility, Ketogenic, Low carbohydrate, PCOS, Subfertility|
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