Short-term effects of a nutrition education program on food choices in adolescents at risk for type 2 diabetes



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Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) among adolescents has increased over the past several decades. Genetic susceptibility may play a role in the occurrence of this illness. However, the current epidemic of T2D among adolescents reflects, in part, changes in the quality of the adolescent diet, particularly fast food consumption. \r\n\r\nTherefore, the aims of this study were to: (1) determine the nutritional intake of adolescents who are at risk for the development of T2D using an interactive CD (Fast Foods and Families: Making Good Choices for Better Health); and (2) identify the level of dietary self-efficacy (DSE) for adolescents at risk for the development of T2D following a nutrition education program (NEP).\r\n\r\nA quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design with random assignment was used with 40 adolescents (ages 11 to 15) identified as at risk for T2D. Four NEP sessions were conducted with the intervention group and a 45-minute standard education program session was conducted with the control group. \r\n\r\nForty-seven percent (n = 19) of the adolescents were considered at risk for being overweight (17.5%; n = 7) or were overweight (30%; n = 12). A majority (80%) of adolescents consumed some fast food. Approximately 38% (n = 15) of adolescents reported eating fast food more than twice a week. There were no differences between the groups on their selection of calories, fat, sodium, and sugar (p > .05) following the intervention. DSE improved significantly (t = -5.055, df = 19, p =.000) following the completion of the NEP. While the NEP did not make a difference in the food selected by the adolescents, an improvement in DSE was noted following these sessions. \r\n