Diabetes Knowledge, Preventive Health Motivation, Perceived Risk of Type-II Diabetes, and Health Behaviors Among College Students
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Type-II diabetes is typically a preventable and manageable disease but without proper care, it can develop into a severely debilitating and life-threatening illness. This study aimed to examine the level of diabetes knowledge among college students and relationships between knowledge of the disease, perceived risk of Type-II diabetes, and preventive health motivation on health preventive behaviors (i.e., healthy eating habits, fat intake, physical activity, and BMI). This study also explored areas of diabetes knowledge that are low or inaccurate in this population including the causes, complications, and risk factors for Type-II diabetes. A total of 126 participants completed a large survey and had their body weight and height measured. The findings of this study indicate that risk perception may not be as critical as previously considered as a motivational factor for the young adult, college population. Rather, diabetes knowledge might have effects on eating a healthy diet and consuming less fat. Future research should aim to clarify the causal relationships between these variables. Also, the areas of diabetes knowledge that were found to be especially low for this population should be targeted along with preventive health motivation in future education efforts to ensure adequate knowledge of Type-II diabetes and motivation for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.