Type 2 Diabetes mellitus (DM2) affects 9.3% of the U.S. population. Health disparities are evident in DM2; twice as many Hispanics as non-Hispanic Whites have DM2. The objective of this study was to pilot test the feasibility of implementing and evaluating trends of nutrition and exercise interventions to improve diabetes management and physical function in 29 disadvantaged older Hispanics with DM2. We delivered combined diet and exercise (n = 8) and diet-only (n = 6) interventions and compared the results to a control/no intervention group (n = 15). We cluster-randomized the participants into the three arms based on the senior center they attended. The interventions were delivered twice a week for 3 months (24 sessions) and assessments were conducted pre and post intervention. The results indicate the feasibility of implementing the interventions and slight improvements in both intervention groups compared to the control group. The diet-only group tended to have larger improvements on body composition measures (especially in muscle mass), while the diet + exercise group tended to have larger improvements on physical function (especially in chair stands). There was a high rate of attrition, especially in the diet + exercise group, but those who completed the intervention tended to have improvements in body composition and physical function.
Keywords: community dwelling; diabetes; ethnic groups; ethnicity; older adults.