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ISSN: 2155-6156

Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism
Open Access

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Research Article

Learn Diabetes Meal Planning Skills in a Virtual World

SeAnne Safaii* and Martha Raid

School of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Idaho, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Dr. SeAnne Safaii
School of Family and Consumer Sciences
University of Idaho, 322 East Front Street
Boise, ID, 83702, USA
E-mail: [email protected]

Received July 29, 2013; Accepted September 25, 2013; Published September 30, 2013

Citation: Safaiin S, Raid M (2013) Learn Diabetes Meal Planning Skills in a Virtual World. J Diabetes Metab 4:294. doi:10.4172/2155-6156.1000294

Copyright: © 2013 Safaiin S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Introduction: An estimated 25.8 million Americans or 8.3% of the population have diabetes and the incidence of diabetes is increasing most rapidly in children and young adults. Diabetes management includes following a diabetes meal plan, being physically active and possibly taking medications. There is limited diabetes education programs designed for young adults and the virtual world, was used to design a novel diabetes meal planning program that targeted their limited meal preparation skills and their social environment.

Objectives: 1. To develop two virtual world simulations-kitchen equipment and recipe preparation- that would provide individuals with skills they need to prepare meals for dining in at home. 2. To develop two virtual world simulations, in a restaurant and buffet, this teaches them how to choose foods that fit into their meal plan when dining out.

Methods: Data was collected from young adults (18-28 years-old) with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who attended focus groups (n=22) and health care providers in one-on-one interviews (N=5) on the barriers they experienced to following their diabetes meal plan. The four virtual world simulations addressed these barriers.

Results: Focus group and interview results indicate that these individuals were food illiterate – they didn’t have the skills to plan and cook healthy meals. In addition, eating out with friends is an important part of their social life. To help these young adults acquire these crucial meal skills and not have to eliminate their social life, four virtual world settings-kitchen equipment, recipe preparation, restaurant, and buffet-were designed where they could practice diabetes meal planning and recipe preparation.

Conclusion: This project focused on designing virtual world simulations to help young adults (18-28 year-olds), meet their diabetes meal plan recommendations.

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