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J Sch Health. 2004 Jan;74(1):10-5.

Preliminary testing of a program to prevent type 2 diabetes among high-risk youth.

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Yale School of Nursing, 100 Church St., South, PO Box 9740, New Haven, CT 06536-0740, USA.


Type 2 diabetes is increasing among youth, with minority youth at highest risk. This preliminary study tested the feasibility of a school-based program to prevent type 2 diabetes in youth at risk. Forty-one participants (age 12.6 +/- 1.1 years; 63% female, 51% African American, 44% Hispanic, and 5% Caucasian) were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Both the experimental and control groups received nutrition education and exercise training. The experimental group also received coping skills training. Data collected included body mass index (BMI), insulin resistance, dietary intake (24-Hour Food Recall), self-efficacy (Health Behavior Questionnaire), activity (Revised Godin-Shepard Activity Survey), and parents' health promoting behaviors (Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile III). At baseline BMI ranged from 27 to 53 (M = 36.2 +/- 6.0), and 95% (n = 39) demonstrated insulin resistance or pre-diabetes on an oral glucose tolerance test. After 12 months, the experimental group showed trends in improved usual food choices (p = .1) and increased dietary knowledge (p = .3). They also demonstrated lower glucose (p = .07) and insulin levels (p = .2). Experimental group parents demonstrated improved health responsibility (p = .03), healthier nutrition choices (p = .05), improved stress management skills (p = .05), increased activity (p = .2), and increased spirituality (p = .2). Data suggest a school-based program tailored to multiethnic youth may prove successful in helping these youth increase activity, improve nutrition status, and stabilize glucose and insulin metabolism, and also may be effective in changing parent health behavior.

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