Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Change Program can help to reduce Type 2 diabetes

September 28, 2018

From 2000 to 2014, the prevalence of diabetes in Georgia nearly doubled from almost seven percent to almost 12 percent. Each year, 53,000 individuals are diagnosed with diabetes in Georgia. This trend is occurring across the country, leading many states, including Georgia, to promote the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s  Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Change Program (DPP).  

DPP is an evidence-based program offered in-person or online specifically designed to prevent Type 2 diabetes. It was created for people who have prediabetes or are at risk for Type 2 diabetes, but who do not already have diabetes.The program also lowers risk for heart attack and stroke, improves overall health and boosts energy.  

The year-long program decreases the rate of diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent (and to 71 percent in persons over the age of 60). The effect of DPP lasts over 10 years, at which point those who completed a lifestyle change program still have a risk reduction of 34 percent.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) hosted a two-day Diabetes Prevention State Engagement meeting in December 2017 with the support and technical assistance of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) to lay the groundwork for a statewide plan to move diabetes prevention work forward in Georgia. Over 120 local, state and national stakeholders and partners convened to discuss DPP expansion and sustainability. The partners ranged from small non-profits to large businesses and healthcare systems, which allowed for a robust discussion on the multiple components needed to successfully bring DPP to more Georgians.

“The state engagement meeting provided the opportunity to educate partners on prediabetes, DPP and how important programs like DPP are in reducing diabetes diagnosis rates, and in turn the expenses and complications that come with a diabetes diagnosis,” said Allison Smith, diabetes program manager. “DPP has increased our opportunities to reduce diabetes rates and improve health outcomes in Georgia.”

Since the December 2017, DPH’s Diabetes Prevention Program has developed the Diabetes Prevention Action Guide. This guide provides actionable steps organizations can take to increase awareness of DPP, especially to individuals making lifestyle changes to prevent Type 2 diabetes. The guide will serve as a framework for advancing diabetes prevention work in Georgia for the next two years. 

“We developed a plan that addressed the various pillars that will help support DPP in Georgia,” said Smith. “There are four pillars that focus on increasing the awareness of prediabetes, improved prediabetes screening and referrals to the program, availability of the program in high need areas and promoting coverage of the program.”  

Ensuring each of these pillars is addressed will improve program sustainability and bring together the cross-sector collaborations that are necessary to advancing this work.

DPH staff members are doing their part in the dissemination of DPP. Several members of the Chronic Disease Prevention Section and Worksite Wellness are trained Lifestyle Coaches and are offering DPP in-person at 2 Peachtree for interested DPH employees. 

For more information on how you can promote the Diabetes Prevention Action Guide or to participate in the DPP program offered at 2 Peachtree, contact Miranda Ouellette at Miranda.Ouellette@dph.ga.gov.


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