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Evaluation of a school-based diabetes education intervention, an extension of Program ENERGY




Conner, Matthew David, author
Melby, Chris, advisor
Auld, Garry, committee member
Hickey, Matthew S., committee member

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Background: The prevalence of both obesity and type 2 diabetes in the United States has increased over the past two decades nd rates remain high. The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics estimates that 36% of adults and 17% of children and adolescents in the US are obese (CDC Adult Obesity, CDC Childhood Obesity). Being overweight or obese greatly increases one's risk of developing several chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Approximately 8% of adults in the US have diabetes, type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of these cases. Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents is still rare, however clinical reports suggest an increase in the frequency of diagnosis (CDC Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2011). Results from the Diabetes Prevention Program show that the incidence of type 2 diabetes can be reduced through the adoption of a healthier lifestyle among high-risk individuals (DPP, 2002). Objectives: This classroom-based intervention included scientific coverage of energy balance, diabetes, diabetes prevention strategies, and diabetes management. Coverage of diabetes management topics were included in lesson content to further the students' understanding of the disease. Measurable short-term goals of the intervention included increases in: general diabetes knowledge, diabetes management knowledge, and awareness of type 2 diabetes prevention strategies. Methods: A total of 66 sixth grade students at Tavelli Elementary School in Fort Collins, CO completed the intervention. The program consisted of nine classroom-based lessons; students participated in one lesson every two weeks. The lessons were delivered from November of 2005 to May of 2006. Each bi-weekly lesson included a presentation and interactive group activities. Participants completed two diabetes knowledge questionnaires at baseline and post intervention. A diabetes survey developed by Program ENERGY measured general diabetes knowledge and awareness of type 2 diabetes prevention strategies. The second questionnaire, adapted from a survey developed for the Starr County Diabetes Education Study (Garcia et al, 2001), measured general diabetes and diabetes management knowledge. A comparison group, a total of 19 students, also completed both surveys during the study period. Results: Significant increases (p<0.05) were seen in the post-intervention study group in general diabetes knowledge, diabetes management knowledge, and awareness of diabetes prevention strategies, when compared to the baseline study group and comparison group.


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community nutrition
type 2 diabetes
elementary school age population
diabetes prevention


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