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Dibetes Prevention ProgramHow can the program prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes?

Prediabetes means a person has a blood glucose (blood sugar) level that is higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. The CDC estimates that more than one third of adult Americans and half of all adults aged 65 years and older have prediabetes. People with prediabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes that can lead to serious health problems such as vision loss, lower limb amputations, and kidney disease. Although the statistics are alarming, tools are available to help manage diabetes and prevent new cases.

Studies have shown that people with prediabetes who lose a modest amount of weight (5% to 7%) and increase their physical activity to 150 minutes a week can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Participants in the program get help and support to make and sustain lifestyle changes needed to prevent type 2 diabetes. The National Diabetes Prevention Program is a 12-month program that has demonstrated effectiveness in improving the health of people with prediabetes. Participants meet in a group setting and learn about important changes that can help prevent type 2 diabetes, such as losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active and managing stress.

The National Diabetes Prevention Program teaches participants strategies for incorporating physical activity into daily life and eating healthy. Lifestyle coaches work with participants to identify emotions and situations that can sabotage their success, and the group process encourages participants to share strategies for dealing with challenging situations.

Participants aim to lose 5% to 7% of their body weight by reducing fat and calories, and by being physically active for 150 minutes a week (for a person weighing 200 pounds, the goal would be to lose 10 to 14 pounds.) Participants get useful information about eating nutritious foods, eating the right portion sizes, reading food labels, and adding physical activity. The group interaction during the 16-week core program is crucial to the programís success. With a supportive group to cheer their successes and empathize with their setbacks, participants donít have to make lifestyle changes alone. The 6-month period of time after the core program is critical to the maintaining healthy lifestyle changes. Participants may have setbacks during this period but continue to work through these challenges with the help of the lifestyle coach and other group members by sharing successful ways to help stay focused and by reviewing curriculum content to reinforce continued positive strategies for maintaining healthy weight loss.

For more information on referring your patients to free local classes, please call the Florida Department of Health in Lake County at 352-589-6424 option 3.