ABSTRACT Diabetes, a major public health problem, can be prevented or delayed with physical activity and diet modifications, but this requires changing behavior. Understanding the beliefs of persons at risk for diabetes may result in more effective and efficient behavior change interventions.
Objective: To explore the utility of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and perceived diabetes risk for identifying modifiable diabetes-related beliefs for behavior change.
Design: Descriptive survey based on the TPB and perceived risk.
Sample: Convenience sample included 106 adults at risk for diabetes.
Measurements: Mailed questionnaire with scales to measure TPB variables.
Results: Subjective norm and perceived behavioral control were related to intention to be physically active, and attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control were related to intention to eat a healthy diet. Perceived diabetes risk was not related to intention to be physically active or eat a healthy diet.
Conclusions: The TPB is a useful theory in explaining physical activity and healthy eating intentions in persons at risk for diabetes. The relationship of perceived diabetes risk and intentions to be physically active and eat a healthy diet needs further investigation.