Community members are preventing type 2 diabetes together with the Prevent T2 Lifestyle Change Program offered by Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast. Guided by a trained lifestyle coach, groups of participants are learning the skills they need to make lasting changes such as losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active, and managing stress.
People with prediabetes – higher than normal blood glucose (sugar) levels – are 5 to 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels. Many people with prediabetes develop type 2 diabetes sometime within the next 5 years.
Participants learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of a healthy lifestyle. Prevent T2 groups meet for one full year. Once a week for the first 16 weeks then once or twice a month for the next 8 months in order to encourage and maintain your healthy lifestyle changes. The program’s group setting provides a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.
“One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater,” said Anne Townley, Diabetes Educator for Sacred Heart Hospital. “The Prevent T2 program offers a proven approach for preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”
Prevent T2 is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program which is led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The local program starts on Aug. 24 and will meet at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast.
Prevent T2 is based on research that showed that people with prediabetes, who lost 5 to 7 percent of their body weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) by making modest changes, reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.
Nationwide implementation of the program could greatly reduce future cases of type 2 diabetes which will in turn reduce associated health problems including heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, or loss of toes, feet, or legs. “Small changes can add up to a big difference,” added Townley. “Working with a trained lifestyle coach who provides guidance, Prevent T2 participants are making lasting changes together.”
People are more likely to have prediabetes and type 2 diabetes if they:
Are 45 years of age or older
Have a family history of type 2 diabetes
Are physically active fewer than three times per week, or
Have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy
Gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
To learn more about this program, call Anne Townley at (850) 278-3683 or Stacy Froeschner at (850) 278-3519. For more information about Sacred Heart on the Emerald Coast, please visit www.sacred-heart.org.