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Changes in Food Choices of Participants in the Special Diabetes Program for Indians–Diabetes Prevention Demonstration Project, 2006–2010



American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) have a disproportionately high rate of type 2 diabetes. Changing food choices plays a key role in preventing diabetes. This study documented changes in the food choices of AI/ANs with diagnosed prediabetes who participated in a diabetes prevention program.


The Special Diabetes Program for Indians-Diabetes Prevention Demonstration Project implemented the evidence-based Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) lifestyle intervention in 36 health care programs nationwide, engaging 80 AI/AN communities. At baseline, at 30 days post-curriculum, and at the first annual assessment, participants completed a sociodemographic survey and 27-item food frequency questionnaire and underwent a medical examination assessing fasting blood glucose (FBG), blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), low-density lipoprotein [LDL], high-density lipoprotein [HDL], and triglycerides. Multiple linear regressions were used to assess the relationship between temporal changes in food choice and other diabetes risk factors.


From January 2006 to July 2010, baseline, post-curriculum, and first annual assessments were completed by 3,135 (100%), 2,046 (65%), and 1,480 (47%) participants, respectively. An increase in healthy food choices was associated initially with reduced bodyweight, BMI, FBG, and LDL and increased physical activity. At first annual assessment, the associations persisted between healthy food choices and bodyweight, BMI, and physical activity.


AI/AN adults from various tribal and urban communities participating in this preventive intervention made sustained changes in food choices and had reductions in diabetes risk factors. The outcomes demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of translating the DPP lifestyle intervention to community-based settings.

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