Date of Award

8-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

C. Michael Robinson

Abstract

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and its prevalence is growing across the United States in all populations. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact knowledge regarding T2D has on health behaviors, specifically, behaviors related to physical activity and sugar and fat consumption. A questionnaire was distributed through email to 500 undergraduate students at one specific campus of the State University of New York college system. Fifty-one of these subjects met the eligibility criteria and were used as part of this study. The questionnaire instrument consisted of four self-report areas: (a) demographics, (b) current knowledge of T2D risk factors, (c) physical activity behavior, and (d) dietary behavior. The researcher found the average T2D knowledge score was 33.7, physical activity score was 3.5 sessions per week, sugar consumption frequency score was 25.2, fat consumption 3.6, and junk food consumption was 28.8. The researcher failed to support the hypotheses that knowledge was significantly correlated with health behaviors. However, the effect size for each of these relationships was small to medium, indicating that with a larger sample we would expect to see a significant correlation. Overall, the researcher concluded that the college student population is overweight and most students do not practice positive health behaviors to prevent chronic disease, such as T2D. It is recommended that colleges and universities consider promoting healthier lifestyles for their students by offering more opportunities for physical activity, good nutrition, and health education/support groups.

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