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Health Educ Res. 2009 Dec;24(6):1051-8. doi: 10.1093/her/cyp064. Epub 2009 Nov 6.

Diabetes awareness and body size perceptions of Cree schoolchildren.

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1
Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2P5, Canada. noreen.willows@ualberta.ca

Abstract

Native American Indians and First Nations are predisposed to obesity and diabetes. A study was done to understand Cree schoolchildren's diabetes awareness and body size perceptions in two communities that had diabetes awareness-raising activities in the Province of Quebec, Canada. Children (N = 203) in grades 4-6 were classified into weight categories using measured heights and weights and grouped on diabetes awareness based on dichotomous responses to the question 'Do you know what diabetes is?' Children selected a drawing of an American Indian child whom they felt most likely to get diabetes and described their body size perception using a closed response question. Although 64.5% of children were overweight or obese, most (60.1%) children considered their body size to be 'just right', with 29.6% considering it 'too big' and 10.3% considering it 'too small'. A minority (27.6%) of children had diabetes awareness. These children were more likely than children without diabetes awareness to consider their body size too big (42.9 versus 24.5%) and to choose an obese drawing as at risk for diabetes (85.7 versus 63.3%, odds ratio 3.48 and 95% confidence interval 1.53-7.91). Culturally appropriate health education programs to increase schoolchildren's diabetes awareness and possibility to have a healthy body weight are important.

PMID:
19897516
DOI:
10.1093/her/cyp064
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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