Targeting risk factors for type 2 diabetes in American Indian youth: the Tribal Turning Point pilot study.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

American Indian (AI) youth are at high risk for type 2 diabetes.

OBJECTIVES

To partner with Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Navajo Nation to develop a culturally sensitive behavioural intervention for youth (Tribal Turning Point; TTP) and assess feasibility in an 8-month randomized pilot study.

METHODS

We enrolled 62 overweight/obese AI children (7-10 years) who participated with ≥1 parent/primary caregiver. Intervention participants (n = 29) attended 12 group classes and five individual sessions. Control participants (n = 33) attended three health and safety group sessions. We analysed group differences for changes in anthropometrics (BMI, BMI z-score, waist circumference), cardiometabolic (insulin, glucose, blood pressure) and behavioural (physical activity and dietary self-efficacy) outcomes.

RESULTS

Study retention was 97%, and intervention group attendance averaged 84%. We observed significant treatment effects (p = 0.02) for BMI and BMI z-score: BMI increased in control (+1.0 kg m-2 , p < 0.001) but not intervention participants (+0.3 kg m-2 , p = 0.13); BMI z-score decreased in intervention (-0.17, p = 0.004) but not control participants (0.01, p = 0.82). There were no treatment effects for cardiometabolic or behavioural outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

We demonstrated that a behavioural intervention is feasible to deliver and improved obesity measures in AI youth. Future work should evaluate TTP for effectiveness, sustainability and long-term impact in expanded tribal settings.

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