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Free prevention program for diabetes promotes longterm support you need

Free prevention program for diabetes promotes longterm support you need
January 05
05:30 2017

Lynne Mitchell

Guest Columnist

Did you know that losing a modest amount of weight can greatly reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes?  If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, this program may be for you!

The Diabetes Prevention Program will help you learn the facts about healthy eating and being active, and help you gain the knowledge and skills to change to healthier habits. This program will also provide the longterm support you need to stick with the changes.  Weekly group facilitated classes take place the first six months of the program followed by monthly classes for another six months.

The original Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was a research study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The results showed that making certain lifestyle changes and continuing them over time can prevent Type 2 diabetes in people who are at risk.

More than 3,000 adults from 27 locations around the United States took part in this study. Everyone in the study had prediabetes. Nearly half of the people in the study were African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Asians, or Pacific Islanders. People of these racial or ethnic groups are at high risk for Type 2 diabetes.

The study was conducted over a three-year period, and the results were remarkable!  Participants focused on lifestyle change cut their risk for Type 2 Diabetes by 58 percent. And, for people over age 60 the results were even more dramatic as their risk of diabetes was cut by a whopping 71 percent. For the participants that took mediation only, they cut their risk for Type 2 diabetes by 31 percent.

The research study and many later studies showed that lifestyle changes are best at preventing Type 2 Diabetes. Because of that finding, many programs, like this one, have been set up throughout the United States and the world. Research studies and personal experiences continue to show the success of this program. It helps people lose weight, remain active, and delay or prevent Type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes means your blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not yet diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease that can cause heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, or loss of feet or legs. Type 2 Diabetes can be delayed or prevented in people with prediabetes through effective lifestyle programs.

Risk factors for prediabetes include being younger than age 65 and getting little or no physical activity, being overweight, being over 45 years of age (you are at higher risk if you are 65 or older), have an immediate family member with diabetes, or you gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds.

For enrollment information, contact Rodd Smith at smithra@nullforsyth.cc or call 336-703-3260.  Classes will begin late January or early February 2017.

Lynne Mitchell, MS, RD, LDN, is personal health services administrator with the Forsyth County Department of Public Health.

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