Correlates among Perceived Risk for Type
2 Diabetes Mellitus, Physical Activity,
And Dietary Intake in Adolescents
In the last two decades, the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) among U.S. adolescents has increased (Fagot-Campagna et al., 2000; SEARCH Study Group, 2006), which may be related to the lack of health-promoting behaviors, such as a balanced diet and adequate physical exercise. This descriptive correlational study examined the relationship between perceived risk for T2DM, dietary intake, and physical activity in adolescents (N = 80) 13 to 18 years of age. The Children’s Health Belief Model (Bush & Iannotti, 1990) was the conceptual framework used for testing the theoretical relationships. Participants completed the following instruments: 1) Knowledge of Risk Factors for T2DM, 2) Health Beliefs for T2DM, 3) Godin-Shepard Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire (Godin & Shepard, 1997), and 4) the Demographic/Medical Questionnaire. Significant relationships were found between perceived risk, a subset of the Health Beliefs for T2DM scale, and the health promoting behaviors of dietary intake and physical activity. Implications for health-promoting nursing practice related to adolescent perception of risk and health-promoting behaviors of dietary intake and physical activity are addressed.