As the New Year dawns, you may thinking about how to lose a few pounds. What you may not be thinking about is prediabetes, a serious health condition that increases one’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. One in three adults in the U.S. has prediabetes—if you have a family history of diabetes, are over age 45, have ever had a baby weighing more than nine pounds at birth, or get little or no physical activity every day, you might be prediabetic. Find out if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes by completing the risk assessment, or contact your doctor.
What is the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)
If you discover you are at risk, what do you do about it? Get help! Join a group of other adults in the same situation for weekly meetings of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). DPP is a lifestyle-change program that helps people with prediabetes lose 5 to 7 percent of starting body weight and increase physical activity minutes to 150 per week.
Cathy Anderson*, a participant from the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment’s DPP, says, “The program emphasizes small changes in diet and exercise to improve your health and it really works! I’ve lost 13 pounds.”
Studies show that DPP participants can lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 58 percent (71 percent if you’re over age 60). In addition to weight loss, Cathy also saw her A1c level drop, from the “prediabetic” to “normal” range, meaning that she decreased her risk of developing type 2 diabetes. “After participating in the first DPP program offered by the county, my A1c dropped from 6.0 to 5.6, and my A1c is now in the normal range.”
What DPP Participants Are Saying
Cathy says the group dynamic helps her feel supported in these lifestyle changes. “What I find beneficial about the county’s DPP program is the information and support that I receive from Karen, our facilitator, and the fellow DPP participants.”
The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment started offering DPP in 2016, and the majority of participants have reached their goals. The current class of 14 participants have lost 144 pounds since June.
Cindy Zink*, another member of the current class says, “I’m really glad that I’ve taken advantage of this opportunity. The DPP class has been very informative and made me stop and think about what I am eating and the impact it has on my body and my overall long term health. The camaraderie of the group has also been a bonus. It’s nice to be able to share ideas, build friendships, and have the support of a common group.”
Diabetes Prevention Program Classes Starting Now
Several new DPP classes are opening in January. Take advantage of this proven program to get the support you need to make healthier choices. Join us for an informational session about DPP on Tuesday, January 22 at 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 5:30 pm. To learn more or RSVP, contact Karen Hanson, registered dietitian at JCDHE, at 913-477-8114 or [email protected].
*names changes to protect privacy