The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends lifestyle change programs like those offered through the National Diabetes Prevention Program as an effective way to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the task force notes that combined diet and physical activity programs are cost-effective.
The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends combined diet and physical activity promotion programs for people at increased risk of type 2 diabetes based on strong evidence of effectiveness in reducing new cases of diabetes.
Combined diet and physical activity promotion programs also increase the likelihood of returning to normal blood sugar and reducing diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk factors, including overweight, high blood glucose, high blood pressure, as well as abnormal lipid levels.
The findings from the task force’s review show that combined diet and physical activity promotion programs to prevent type 2 diabetes among people at increased risk are cost-effective.
Based on the evidence, combined diet and physical activity promotion programs are effective across a range of counseling settings. Programs commonly include specific weight loss, diet and physical activity goals, individual and/or group sessions, and individually tailored diet and exercise plans. Higher intensity programs (with more sessions or longer program length) lead to greater effects.
The recommendation is based on reviews of all available studies, conducted on behalf of the Task Force by a team of specialists.
What can the National Diabetes Prevention Program Do for You – or for Someone You Care About?
The lifestyle change programs offered through the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by CDC, can help participants adopt the healthy habits needed to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Research shows that modest weight loss and regular physical activity can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by up to 58% in people with prediabetes. Modest weight loss means 5% to 7% of body weight, which is 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. Getting at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity, such as brisk walking, also is important.
The National Diabetes Prevention Program teaches participants strategies for including physical activity into daily life and eating healthy. Lifestyle coaches work with participants to identify emotions and situations that can spoil their success, and the group process encourages participants to share strategies for dealing with challenging situations. Find a program in your community.
A structured lifestyle change program is critical to reducing type 2 diabetes among people at high risk. Increasing the availability of healthy food choices and opportunities for physical activity also can make it easier for everyone to make healthier choices. They’re both important.