Florida Public Health Review

Publication Date



Whereas type 2 diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the general United States, it is the fourth leading cause of death for African Americans. This health disparity remains a serious and costly public health issue. This study investigated the type 2 diabetes preventive behaviors and intentions among 130 African-American college students. Data collection for this cross-sectional study included administration of a 23-item survey that measured knowledge, attitudes, perceived susceptibility, and social norms. We found that only 19% of the respondents perceived themselves at risk for developing diabetes. Students who had been told by a health professional that they were pre-diabetic or diabetic were more likely to perceive an increased risk for developing diabetes than their counterparts. Despite low risk perception in this group, 95% reported a favorable attitude towards preventing diabetes. These results underscore the need to enhance college students’ knowledge and understanding of type 2 diabetes risk, while capitalizing on positive student attitudes toward prevention. Social and environmental influences on type to diabetes preventive behaviors also should be considered.