Martha Raidl

University of Idaho

Title: The Healthy Diabetes Plate teaches meal planning skills and changes in eating behaviors


Raidl completed her Ph.D from Purdue University and dietetics degree at the University of Illinois Medical Center. She is a Professor and Extension Nutrition Education Specialist at the University of Idaho. She is a co-Principal Investigator (PI) on a National Institutes of Health grant that teaches young adults with diabetes meal planning skills in a virtual world and how to apply these skills in a real world.


The International Diabetes Federation estimates that by 2030, 552 million people will have diabetes. Making lifestyle changes such as changing diet and being physically active can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 60%. Unfortunately many individuals find diabetes meal planning confusing. Research on a fourlesson peer-reviewed curriculum entitled The Healthy Diabetes Plate (HDP) showed it successfully taught 85-99% of participants how to plan their meals correctly and they significantly increased their fruit and vegetable intake. The HDP curriculum used a plate to teach participants the types and amounts of foods they should consume at each meal. A HDP website, was released in 2009 and updated in 2012; it contains information from the HDP curriculum to make this information accessible worldwide, in English and in Spanish. The twelve web pages include numerous food graphics (84 photos), text that focuses on meal planning principles, and five grocery store video clips. An interactive meal planning page allows participants to click on a food group and have the food and its correct portion size appear on the plate. Information at the HDP website can be used by anyone interested in learning how to plan healthy meals but targets those with diabetes. This website has been used by individuals on their own, or in a classroom as an introduction to diabetes meal planning. When combined with the HDP curriculum, it provides in-depth information on how to plan meals in a variety of settings (at home, work, eating out) and incorporate recipes.

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