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Number and severity of Type 2 Diabetes among family members are associated with nutrition and physical activity behaviors
Aim: A binary measurement of type 2 diabetes (T2D) has been found not to influence behaviors. We aimed to examine the influence of other measures of family history such as number of relatives, genetic closeness of relatives, and severity of T2D of family members on nutrition and physical activity behaviors among college students. Methods: Students across four colleges in Texas were sampled. Multiple linear regression models, controlling for covariates, were used to model results. Cross-sectional data were used. Results: More number of relatives with T2D was associated with vegetable consumption (β = 0.131, p = 0.007) and exercise (β = 0.129, p = 0.037). Having relatives with severe T2D was associated with vegetable consumption (β = 0.157, p = 0.002) and exercise (β = 106, p = 0.027). Closer genetic relationship with someone with T2D was associated with increased vegetable consumption (β = 0.107, p = 0.023) and exercise (β = 0.096, p = 0.047). Conclusion: It is likely that the severe complications that may accompany the relatives T2D or having an immediate family member living with T2D may in fact motivate other family members without T2D to modify their attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge about T2D, thus encourage health-protective behaviors.