Change Your Lifestyle. Change Your Life.
Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes—a potentially life-threatening condition where blood glucose levels are above normal—is a growing problem in the United States. Currently one in 10 Americans has the disease, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in three is likely to have it by 2050 if the current trend continues.
In 2012, the Black Women’s Health Imperative (the Imperative) was selected along with five other national organizations to help carry out the CDC’s four-year National Diabetes Prevention Program to help reduce the rate of type 2 diabetes in this country. The program offers a yearlong lifestyle change intervention that focuses on preventing type 2 diabetes among persons at risk for developing diabetes and encouraging employers and insurers to offer the program as a covered health benefit.
Research has shown that lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity, changes in diet and a modest reduction in weight can significantly reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes and other preventable chronic conditions. Through funding provided to national organizations such as the Imperative, the CDC is supporting community-based diabetes prevention strategies that are proven to help individuals delay or avert the onset of diabetes. Local partnerships established with these grant dollars will help community organizations reach large numbers of community residents with prediabetes —a condition where blood glucose levels are elevated, but are not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
WHY LIFESTYLE CHANGE MATTERS
Type 2 diabetes is a preventable, chronic disease that, if not managed, can cause debilitating, life-threatening complications such as heart disease and stroke, blindness, kidney disease, amputations and high-risk pregnancy among other conditions. In addition to its serious health risks, the American Diabetes Association estimated that in 2012 the diseases cost the U.S. $245 billion in health care costs and lost productivity.
Certain racial and ethnic groups and women experience higher rates of diabetes due to issues such as high blood pressure, obesity and sedentary lifestyles. Compared to non-Hispanic White adults, the risk for diagnosed diabetes was 66% higher among Hispanics, and 77% higher among non-Hispanic Blacks, according to the most current national data. In addition, women with diabetes are in danger of pregnancy complications and are at greater risk than men with diabetes for heart-attack deaths and blindness.
While there are some risk factors we cannot control, such as age or family history, there are steps we can take to address other contributing factors such as being overweight or obese, physical inactivity and smoking. Nearly 80 percent of Black and 75 percent of Hispanic women are overweight. In addition, 55 percent and 60 percent of Black and Hispanic women, respectively, are physically inactive. By changing these dynamics, Black and Hispanic women can significantly reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes.
As a funded organization in the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, the Imperative is in a unique position to support Black women and Latinas in making the lifestyle changes that have been shown effective in reducing the risk for diabetes and its related complications. And, by working with women to implement strategies such as goal setting, food and activity tracking, weight monitoring and self management, we are also able to influence positive health behaviors in entire families that may be at risk for developing the disease.
OUR DIABETES PREVENTION PARTNERS & COMMUNITIES
The Imperative has awarded grants to a network of established community partners in states with high rates of diabetes and prediabetes. Our funded community partner organizations are:
- Black Women for Wellness, Los Angeles, CA - http://www.bwwla.com/index.php
Community Capacity Builders, VA (Tidewater area) - http://ccbllcglobal.com/
Indiana Minority Health Coalition, Indianapolis, IN - http://www.imhc.org/
Michigan Black Women’s Health Alliance, Detroit, MI - http://mbwha.org/
- The Community Wellness Project, St. Louis, MO - http://www.cwpstl.org/cwp_home.html
Each of our funded partner organizations is working with local residents, area employers, community and faith-based organizations, insurers, health-care providers and other local groups to offer the yearlong lifestyle intervention program. Studies have shown that people with prediabetes that lose a modest amount of weight (5 to 7 percent), improve their diets and increase their physical activity to at least 150 minutes (about 30 minutes 5 times a week) can delay or prevent the onset of diabetes.
Program participants work with a lifestyle coach in a group setting where they learn strategies for making changes in their food choices, increasing the level of weekly physical activity and reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. The lifestyle coaches support participants in identifying emotions and situations that can hinder their progress in making positive changes. The group setting engages participants in sharing their experiences and supporting each other in making the lifestyle changes a routine part of their lives. The yearlong prevention program consists of 16 one-hour core sessions and six monthly post-core follow up sessions aimed at helping participants maintain their healthier lifestyles and continue their efforts to prevent the onset of diabetes.
For more information on the Imperative’s participation in the CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program, contact Angela Ford, Project Manager, at 202-548-4000, or by email at [email protected]omenshealth.org