Participants of the Dining with Diabetes Program Improve Knowledge and Behaviors Related to the Control of Their Diabetes

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The Ohio State University

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Diabetes mellitus (DM) affects 25.8 million Americans, with 79 million estimated to have pre-diabetes. DM results in uncontrolled blood glucose levels if not properly treated, increasing a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke, neuropathy, nephropathy, and eye impairments. However, DM can be controlled through a balance of meal planning, medications, exercise and glucose testing. In Ohio, only 55% of those diagnosed with DM Type 2 receive proper education to control the disease. To address this gap, the Ohio State University Extension offers diabetes education through the Dining with Diabetes (DWD) program. The primary goal of DWD is to better educate those with, or someone associated with, the disease. The study’s purpose is to determine how DWD affected the outcomes in which it intended to reach by assessing the participants’ knowledge and behaviors related to diabetes management. The program consists of three lessons using a standardized curriculum, and is taught in conjunction with a registered dietitian. Participants (n=740) throughout Ohio completed pre- and post-intervention surveys that collected information on participants’ food and nutrition knowledge (10 questions), behaviors (14 questions), and demographics. Generalized linear mixed effects models were used to determine outcome measures. Significance was set at p<.05. Participants were mostly white (96%), female (75%), and over the age of 51 (87.8%). Participants’ knowledge about foods containing carbohydrates increased significantly (p=.012). Females scored higher (p<.001), on average, than males when adjusting for age, education, ethnicity, and home size. Of the participants with DM (n=460), participants were more likely, on average, to report checking blood glucose daily post-intervention compared to pre-intervention (p<.001). Results suggest the DWD program is improving knowledge and positive behaviors related to diabetes management. Additional research is needed to determine long-term effects of DWD as well as the program’s impact on medical tests associated with diabetes control (e.g., A1c test).



Health education, Diabetes Management, Diabetes Mellitus, Knowledge and behavior change regarding diabetes