Preventing Diabetes in Children & Teens

Contact Us

If your school or homeless shelter would like to participate in our diabetes prevention programs, email us at uuccn@utah.edu.

Driving Out Diabetes
Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation

Today, one in four children is obese, putting them at increased risk of developing diabetes and/or obesity. 

However, when children learn healthy eating and physical activity habits, rates of chronic disease (including diabetes) can fall by up to 25 percent as these children get older. School-and family-based behavioral change programs can play a key role in changing lifestyles to improve health outcomes.

As part of Driving Out Diabetes, a Miller Family Wellness Initiative, the Center for Community Nutrition in the College of Health is offering new programs geared toward school-aged children and underserved low-income families. These programs include the following:

  1. Family Food Matters
  2. Crush Diabetes!
  3. Team Thrive
  4. Food, Movement, & U

Family Food Matters

Family Food Matters is part of the Driving Out Diabetes Initiative at the University of Utah. Driving Out Diabetes includes programs to help prevent, identify, and treat type 2 diabetes. Family Food Matters specifically focuses on teaching families about eating healthy and incorporating movement into their everyday lifestyles in order to prevent disease.

Family Food Matters consists of three online video lessons that talk about:

  • Healthy eating,
  • A healthy home environment, and
  • Family movement.

Each lesson consists of one video, one research summary, and one tip sheet for parents. Access to a variety of healthy recipes, diabetes information, and more is also available. All videos and materials can be reviewed by participants at their own pace.

Who Is the Program For?

Family Food Matters is designed for all families but can also be taken by any individual.

How Can My Family Participate?

This program is 100 percent free to anyone. For more information or to request an in-person workshop, please email nutrition@health.utah.edu.

Crush Diabetes: Preventing Diabetes in Middle Schools

Crush Diabetes is a program that encourages middle school students and their families to develop healthy habits. The program includes a one-week curriculum and uses the movie Sugar Babies, a 40-minute documentary that explains the basic physiology of diabetes to children and adolescents coping with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

This program motivates and educates students on the importance of healthy lifestyle habits such as healthy eating and physical activity.

Teachers receive a week-long curriculum, including a film DVD. Each student participating in this program receives the film to share with family members.

Schools can also participate in an evening community film screening at their school (with a visit from the film maker) accompanied by a wellness health fair that includes healthy foods, games, and health screenings.

Who Is the Program For?

Crush Diabetes! is for middle school students, teachers, and surrounding community. 

How Can My School Participate?

We offer this program to middle schools/junior high schools in Utah, Idaho, and Arizona.

Please email the Utah Center for Community Nutrition at uuccn@utah.edu for more information.

Team Thrive: Preventing Diabetes in High Schools

Team Thrive is a diabetes prevention program for high schools. This program includes a curriculum for teachers and support for a year-long diabetes prevention promotion program for the school and community.

This program was custom-designed in partnership with key stakeholders to meet the needs of the participating schools. 

Participating high schools will receive these activities:

  • a novel four-week nutrition and physical activity program for health or science classes, led by Center faculty and trained university students;
  • promotional events focused on diabetes prevention; and
  • a voluntary after-school or evening program for students at high risk of developing diabetes.

This program will provide the resources to implement and study the outcomes of the programs.

Who Is the Program For?

Team Thrive is for high school students, teachers, and administrators.

How Can My School Participate?

Our current support will allow this program to operate at seven high schools in the state of Utah.

Please email the Utah Center for Community Nutrition at uuccn@utah.edu for more information.

Food, Movement, & You: Preventing Diabetes in Homeless Shelters

Food Movement, and You is a program that teaches homeless families healthy eating habits and creative ideas for improving food offerings in facilities that serve homeless families.

This program includes a 12-session interactive curriculum focused on:

  • diabetes prevention,
  • eating to prevent diabetes while on a budget,
  • menu planning,
  • and choosing healthy foods.

The program also provides strategies for parents to help kids eat well along with healthy, budget-friendly recipes and food tastings.

Classes will be provided by registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, and students from academic programs in the College of Health.

All volunteers receive training on issues that people dealing with homelessness face, including trauma and poverty.

In addition, this program will coordinate with the campus food recovery program at the University of Utah and will bring extra healthy food to families and individuals at the shelters. 

Who Is the Program For?

Food, Movement, and You is for families that are homeless or in transitional housing.

How Can My Facility Participate?

Our current support will allow this program to operate at five shelters or transitional housing sites.

Please email the Utah Center for Community Nutrition at uuccn@utah.edu for more information.

Contact Us

If your school or homeless shelter would like to participate in our diabetes prevention programs, please email us at uuccn@utah.edu.

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