Date of Award
Master of Science
Food and Nutrition
Currently there is little research on the snack habits of adolescents at-risk for Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM). Healthy snacks are an important part of an adolescent's diet because they provide energy between meals, additional calories important for children's growth and development, and may be beneficial by helping to curb overeating at meals. This pilot study sought to examine the changes in snacking habits by adolescents at-risk for T2DM participating in a community-based lifestyle intervention. The design of this pilot study was a prospective cohort of adolescents at-risk for T2DM. Nine males and 8 females, 10-15 years of age participated in a baseline and 3 month intervention in the fall/winter of 2008. Snack habits were assessed through a self-reported questionnaire completed by participants at baseline and 3 months. From baseline to 3 months, a statistical trend (p<0.10) toward an increase in consumption of yogurt was seen as well as a significant (p<0.05) increase in consumption of potato chips and snack cakes or pies and significant (p<0.05) decrease in consumption of water. At 3 months, income was negatively correlated with frequency of use of the "Nutrition Facts" food label, number of snacks eaten on a typical day, and self-reported servings of fruit eaten on a typical day. At both baseline and 3 months, a positive correlation was seen between servings of fruit eaten on a typical day and servings of vegetables eaten on a typical day. Whereas there were significant increases in self-reporting of selected unhealthy snack foods and significant decreases in self-reporting of selected healthy snack foods, this study has proven valuable to the understanding of what adolescents who are at-risk for T2DM are eating and correlations between snack habits.
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