K. Cosby, J. Amado, C. Kirkpatrick, T. Peña, W. M. Silvers

Whitworth University, Spokane, WA

The empirical evidence to support the impact of diet on type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has grown over the years, along with the use of anthropometric measurements to determine T2DM risk. Both overall diets and individual dietary components have been evaluated in regard to their respective impacts on T2DM risk. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and T2DM risk factors in undergraduate students. METHODS: Forty-five undergraduate male and female students (age: 20.5 ± 1.3 y; ht: 172.9 ± 10.4 cm; wt: 71.1 ± 17.8 kg) participated via convenience sampling. Participants attended information sessions in order to review the informed consent. Each participant then signed a consent form and attended a single session for approximately 20 minutes. During each session, researchers conducted a 24-hour diet recall interview for the previous day that focused on fruit and vegetable intake. Each participant’s height in centimeters and weight in kilograms were measured with a Detecto Weight Beam Eye-Level Scale and Measure. Waist circumference was measured in centimeters with a flexible measurement tape. Pearson product-moment correlations were used to determine the correlations between BMI, WC, and fruit and vegetable consumption. RESULTS: Descriptive data included BMI (23.5 ± 4.0 kg/m2), WC (76.9 ± 10.7 cm), and cups of fruit and vegetables consumed (4.5 ± 3.1 cups). There was no correlation between WC and fruit and vegetable consumption (r = -0.062, p = 0.687) or BMI and fruit and vegetable consumption (r = -0.001, p = 0.730). CONCLUSIONS: No correlations were found between BMI, WC, and fruit and vegetable consumption. These results might have been due to limitations inherent to BMI (e.g. BMI does not account for muscle mass) or a sample population that consisted largely of females and Health Science majors, which was not representative of research university’s undergraduate population. Additionally, the use of a single day diet recall might have given an inaccurate representation of the participants’ overall diets (e.g. a participant could have eaten more fruits and vegetables than normal on the day the diet was recalled). Finally, WC and BMI might have been better indicators of T2DM risk for an older population (as shown through previous research), and a different indicator might have been needed (e.g. blood glucose levels) for a younger population. Future research should include a larger and more diverse sample population and a longer diet recall in order to determine if any correlations exist between the variables in the present study.

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