About the Study

Prevention Strategies for Adolescents at Risk of Diabetes

Phase One

The main aim of phase one is to develop a risk tool for the identification of adolescents aged 12-14 years who may be at increased risk of developing type 2 Diabetes in the future and evaluate the risk tool against  data collected from  500 adolescents from across the five partner countries.

To date none of the risk scores developed for adults have been assessed within this adolescent age group and there are no existing risk scores for identifying risk of diabetes developed for use within young people. This is probably due to a lack of data from population based screening studies in this age group.

Instead of developing a traditional diabetes risk score, such as the FINDRISC, we will use an alternative approach which does not require population screening.

There are three components involved in the development of a risk tool suitable for this age group:

  1. We will identify risk factors to be included in a risk tool
  2. A phenotyping study will be conducted with adolescents of this age group
  3. Independent clinicians will then assign the level of risk they judge each adolescent to be, based on the extensive phenotyping. These results will then be compared with the results from the risk tool and any refinements to the tool will be undertaken.

graphic of children playing

Where are we now?

As of November 2017 all phase one data has been collected and the risk tool is being finalised, ready for publication in early 2018.

Phase Two

The development and evaluation of a family lifestyle intervention for 12-14 year old adolescents at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and their parents/guardians.

In collaboration with local stakeholders (i.e., teachers, parents, adolescents, community physical activity co-ordinators) we will develop a family lifestyle intervention for these adolescents, and their parents/guardians, who have been identified as being ‘at higher risk’ for developing type 2 diabetes.

The intervention will be delivered in interactive groups either after school or at weekend workshops facilitated by trained educators. Self-monitoring of lifestyle behaviour will be promoted and continuous support for the adolescents and their parents alongside these workshops will be available through the use of wearable technology.

The focus of the workshops will be:

  • Being healthy
  • Moving more
  • Getting the balance right
  • Sitting less
  • Building a better breakfast
  • Choosing healthy snacks and drinks
  • Treats and healthier fast foods
  • Making a family plan

The effectiveness of the intervention will be tested in a randomised controlled trial, with follow up measures at 6 and 12 months. Outcomes measures will include lifestyle and psychosocial questionnaires, objectively measured physical activity and sedentary behaviour, anthropometrics, and blood tests.

Where are we now?

As of November 2017 all phase two data has been collected and is currently under analysis ready for publication in early 2018, this will include both quantitative and qualitative data.

As a result of the development stage of phase two we have developed a family-based lifestyle intervention that consists of eight 90-minute group sessions. Watch this space for description on how these were implemented across the five European countries!