Health  Vol.4 No.12 , December 2012
Risk perceptions, nutrition, and physical activity among South Asian women in the US: Does history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) matter?
ABSTRACT
Objective: This study examines risk perceptions, nutrition practices, and physical activity among ever pregnant South Asian American women, and explores differences by history of GDM, a significant risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Methods: The Diabetes Prevention Study (DPS) recruited a convenience sample of South Asian adults living in the metropolitan Washington DC region. Specific eligibility criteria included English proficiency; having at least one child between the ages of 5 and 15; no current diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM); and having a family history of T2DM. The present study utilizes a subset of the DPS dataset and includes 109 ever pregnant women, including 58% with a history of GDM. Results: Mean scores for perceptions of risk showed that both worry and personal control are slightly greater than “neutral” with 3.5 out 5. Therefore, women worry about T2DM yet also perceive personal control for their risk. 40.2% of all respondents use ghee (clarified butter) to cook meals and 41.7% re-use cooking oil. 35% of respondents report no physical activity in an average week. Only 39.8% of women meet the recommended guidelines for adults in the US There are no significant differences between women with or without a history of GDM for nutrition practices and physical activity. Conclusions: This study adds to the literature on GDM and missed opportunities for the prevention of future T2DM.Future research ought to explore knowledge levels on T2DM during and after pregnancy, as well as what types of intervenetions would be effective and acceptable to South Asian women.

Cite this paper
Vyas, A. , Chaudhary, N. , Ramiah, K. and Douglass, G. (2012) Risk perceptions, nutrition, and physical activity among South Asian women in the US: Does history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) matter?. Health, 4, 1263-1270. doi: 10.4236/health.2012.412186.
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