Correlations between attendance in a youth diabetes education program and risk for type 2 diabetes


With Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) on the rise, expert panels have called for studies examining the effectiveness of primary prevention programs, and suggest targeting high risk populations (Alberti, 2007). Manitoban youth have incidence rates of T2DM 20 times greater than other provinces (Amed et al., 2010). Physical activity and diet are important modifiable factors to reduce T2DM risk (Huang et al., 2003). However, a review of previous community based interventions addressing modifiable risk in youth demonstrated a paucity of evidence exists (Satterfield et al., 2003). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the change in modifiable risk factors (physical activity, nutrition and health attitudes) and perceived risk among inner city youth who participate in a T2DM awareness and education program. Participants in this study were 47 inner city secondary school students (M=24, F=23). They participated in an 8 week T2DM awareness and education program focusing on physical activity and nutrition. The Risk Perception Survey for Developing Diabetes was used to assess perceived risk of developing T2DM (Walker et al., 2009). The PACE Adolescent Stages-of-Change Measures were used to measure activity perceptions and attitudes (Norman et al., 2005). Participant demographics and anthropometrics were also obtained. Pre and post data was collected. A correlation was found to exist between participant attendance in the program and both post program optimistic bias (r = 0.296) and change in optimistic bias (r = 0.515) regarding their risk to develop T2DM, however no correlation was found between attendance and perceived control of risk for T2DM. A general upward trend was also found for stages of change based on the pre and post PACE questionnaire results (e.g., pre = 40% vs. post = 17% in contemplation; pre = 15% vs. post = 32% in action). Reasons for these findings and practical implications will be discussed.

Acknowledgments: Sun Life Financial Canada