Memorial Hospital is currently enrolling members of the public in a CDC-recognized diabetes prevention program, a structured plan developed specifically to prevent type 2 diabetes. It is designed for people who have prediabetes or are at risk for type 2 diabetes, but who do not already have diabetes.
"We're so glad we can offer this program because the number of people in our community at risk for Type 2 diabetes continues to increase," said Memorial Hospital Certified Diabetes Educator Kathy Zoumberis, RN, BSN, CDE. "As diabetes healthcare professionals we've always known that lifestyle changes and a small amount of weight loss is very helpful in the management of Type 2 diabetes but now we know those same changes can help prevent or reduce the chances of developing diabetes."
A trained lifestyle coach leads the program to help participants change certain aspects of their lifestyle, like eating healthier, reducing stress, and getting more physical activity. The program also includes group support from others who share similar goals and struggles.
In order to offer a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program, Memorial had to submit an application and meet certain standards--such as having trained lifestyle coaches and use a CDC-approved curriculum. Memorial must also track results and submit data to CDC every six months to show the program is having an impact on preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes. CDC reviews the data and provides feedback to the program.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled as more Americans are living longer and become more overweight or obese.
Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include:
- Being overweight
- Being 45 years or older
- Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
- Being physically active less than 3 times a week
- Ever having gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome
Anyone with any of these risk factors should see their health care provider for further testing.