Local Groups, Insurers Work To Prevent Diabetes, As National Awareness Effort Launches

CDC, AMA Announce New Prediabetes Awareness Campaign

Alan Levine (CC-BY-SA)

The Centers for Disease Control and American Medical Association announced that a new effort on Thursday to increase awareness about prediabetes will involve community organizations and health insurers — something that’s already being tried in Wisconsin.

The two national health groups hope to prevent Type 2 diabetes by getting more people tested and, if necessary, referred to community prevention programs to reverse what they call an alarming trend of diabetes.

In Wisconsin there are 13 prevention programs run by the YMCA. Ellie Duyser, a registered dietician with the Milwaukee YMCA, said some clients are referred to their program by doctors, but most are referred by their employer’s insurance.

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“We know that adopting lifestyle change and working toward moderate weight loss — anywhere between 5 and 7 percent and increasing physical activity to 150 minutes a week — is really what’s impactful, even more so than medication,” she said.

Duyser said their 16-week exercise and weight loss program for prediabetics is consistently full.

“We’ve definitely grown over the last couple years, and maintain around 250 to 300 participants each year,” she said.

According to the 2012 Wisconsin Diabetes Surveillance Report, 35 percent of adults are estimated to have higher-than-normal blood sugar indicating prediabetes. Ten percent have diabetes.