Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Education and Human Services


Nutrition and Food Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Charles Feldman

Committee Member

Angela Chale

Committee Member

Doreen Liou

Committee Member

Pearl Stewart


The United States is abounding in the prevalence and incidence of avoidable chronic diseases, and high among these diseases is type 2 diabetes. Further, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH) Common Fund, 40% of harmful health behaviors is what contributes to chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. NIH noted there are few personalized, effective ways to inspire people to change their behaviors in the shortterm, but if done, this behavior is not sustained long-term (The NIH Common Fund, 2011). Yet, this research discovered a Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is one of these few personalized, effective interventions that has not become widespread in application. The DPP has over 10 years of effectively demonstrating an impact on diabetes by these outcomes: 1) decrease in the incidence of diabetes, 2) decrease in the costs of diabetes, 3) decrease in death rates of diabetes, 4) absence of differences across ethnic groups, and 5) sustainability over ten years with lifestyle intervention significantly having the greatest impact. Hence this research sought to explore why DPP has not found its way into the practice of treating and preventing diabetes. The over arching research question was: Can we bridge physician practices to produce results achieved in evidence-based lifestyle intervention research? Primary research was conducted with physicians treating diabetic and pre-diabetic patients in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania using both quantitative and qualitative methods to pursue this inquiry. Research findings revealed unfamiliarity with DPP, barriers to implementing DPP in real world practices, yet an overwhelming interest in DPP, particularly because of the nutrition-based lifestyle component. Consequently, nutrition educators and counselors have an opportunity to emerge as change agents in translating DPP evidence into practice with the goal of bridging the patient outcome gap for type 2 diabetes. The best opportunity is addressing barriers and limitations identified in this research.

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