Demographic characteristics and food choices of participants in the special diabetes program for american Indians diabetes prevention demonstration project

Nicolette I Teufel-Shone, Luohua Jiang, Janette Beals, William G. Henderson, Lijing Zhang, Kelly J. Acton, Yvette Roubideaux, Spero M. Manson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Objective. American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) suffer a disproportionate burden of diabetes. Identifying food choices of AI/ANs at risk of type 2 diabetes, living in both rural and urban settings, is critical to the development of culturally relevant, evidence-based education strategies designed to reduce morbidity and mortality in this population.Design. At baseline, 3135 AI/AN adults participating in the Special Diabetes Program for American Indians Diabetes Prevention Demonstration Project (SDPI-DP) completed a socio-demographic survey and a 27-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). The primary dietary behavior goal of SDPI-DP education sessions and lifestyle coaching is changes in food choices, i.e., increased fruits, vegetables and whole grains, decreased high sugar beverages, red meat, and processed foods. Subsequently, program assessment focuses on changes in food types. Foods were delineated using a healthy and unhealthy classification as defined by the educators advising participants. Urban and rural differences were examined using χ<sup>2</sup> tests and two sample t-tests. Multiple linear regressions and linear mixed models were used to assess the association between socio-demographic factors and food choice.Results. Retired participants, those living in urban areas and with high income and education selected healthy foods most frequently. Young males, those with low income and education consumed unhealthy foods most frequently. Selection of unhealthy foods did not differ by urban and rural setting.Conclusions. The ubiquitous nature of unhealthy food choices makes them hard to avoid. Food choice differences by gender, age, income, and setting suggest that nutrition education should more effectively target and meets the needs of young AI/AN males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-340
Number of pages14
JournalEthnicity and Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 4 2015



  • American Indians/Alaska Natives
  • diabetes prevention
  • food choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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