UP Health System – Portage Hosting Diabetes Prevention Program

October 23, 2015

HANCOCK, Mich. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program is coming to UP Health System – Portage in September. Guided by a trained lifestyle coach, participants will learn 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 five to 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels. In fact, many people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within three years if they do not take steps to prevent it.

“One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater,” said Kelly Aho, Program Coordinator and Clinical Education Coordinator at UP Health System – Portage. “The program offers a proven approach to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.

“Our Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program is the only CDC recognized program in the Upper Peninsula. The cost for the 16-week program is $80 per individual.”

Participants will 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 healthy changes. The Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program group meets once a week for 16 weeks, then once a month for six months to maintain 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.

The Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program is based on research that showed that people with prediabetes who lost five to seven 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 save the U.S. health care system $5.7 billion and prevent about 885,000 future cases of type 2 diabetes, a serious condition that can lead to 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 Aho. “Working with a trained lifestyle coach who provides guidance, the participants of the Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program 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;
  • Are overweight;
  • 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 or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.

For more information or to sign up to participate in the Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program, contact Kelly Aho at 906-483-1229. You can learn more about the program online at www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention.