Even small changes can go a long way in preventing diabetes
by Blues Perspectives
| 2 min read
One in three adults—about 2.6 million adults in Michigan—have prediabetes and most are unaware of their condition. Many also do not know that with simple lifestyle changes, progression from prediabetes to diabetes can be prevented. Prediabetes means a person has a blood glucose (blood sugar) level higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Those with prediabetes have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes within five years and also have risk factors for heart disease and stroke. There is hope for prediabetics. They may be able to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes and return their blood glucose levels to normal by participating in a new national program called the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP). This evidence-based lifestyle change program for preventing type 2 diabetes is now being offered in Michigan communities. The NDPP is based on studies which have shown people with prediabetes who lose a modest amount of weight (5 – 7% of their weight) and are physically active at least 150 minutes a week can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58%.
The goal of the NDPP is to help participants make lifestyle changes to lose weight, reduce fat in their diet and be physically active most days of the week. The program is led by trained lifestyle coaches who motivate and build on group dynamics to encourage participants to make healthy behavior change for life. Lifestyle coaches lead small groups in this one-year lifestyle change program which includes 16 core sessions (usually one per week), followed by six post-core sessions (one per month). Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) is among one of Michigan’s newly trained organizations to offer the NDPP. MSUE is partnering with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to bring awareness to the importance of prediabetes and to create lasting partnerships to offer the NDPP and help people make healthy change that will last a lifetime. To participate in the NDPP, a person must be overweight and have prediabetes or be at high risk. Prediabetes is determined by one of the following blood test results:
- Fasting plasma glucose between 100-125 mg/d
- A1c between 5.7% and 6.4%
- Two-hour plasma glucose between 140 to 199 mg/dl
In addition, a combination of risk factors such as family history, being overweight or obese, having gestational diabetes, and inactivity may also put a person at risk and therefore make them eligible for the NDPP. To find local NDPP programs in Michigan visit the Diabetes Partners in Action Coalition (DPAC).