Objectives: The study assessed knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards health, diabetes, diet and exercise among respondents with type 2 diabetes mellitus and those with cardiometabolic risk factors.
Methods: Respondents in the SHIELD study reported their health conditions, exercise, diet and weight loss. Three groups were assessed: (i) type 2 diabetes, (ii) high risk (HR) defined as 3-5 of the following factors: abdominal obesity, BMI > or = 28 kg/m(2), reported diagnosis of dyslipidaemia, hypertension, coronary heart disease or stroke and (iii) low risk (LR) defined as < or = 2 factors. Comparisons across groups were made using analysis of variance.
Results: More type 2 diabetes and HR respondents (> 46%) received recommendations to change their lifestyle habits (increase exercise and change eating habits), compared with < 29% of LR respondents, p < 0.0001. Less than 25% of respondents agreed that type 2 diabetes is not as serious as type 1 diabetes and > 85% agreed that obesity can aggravate or contribute to onset of chronic conditions. Mean number of healthcare visits was highest in type 2 diabetes (11.0) than HR (9.4) and LR (6.1) groups, p < 0.05. Type 2 diabetes and HR respondents were least likely to report exercising regularly (26%), compared with LR (37%), p < 0.05. More type 2 diabetes (70%) and HR (72%) respondents reported trying to lose weight vs. LR respondents (55%), p < 0.05.
Conclusions: Type 2 diabetes and HR respondents reported attitudes and knowledge conducive to good health, but the majority of respondents did not translate these positive traits into healthy behaviour with respect to diet, exercise and weight loss.