What is the National Diabetes Prevention Program?

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The CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program is designed to bring to communities evidence-based lifestyle change programs for preventing type 2 diabetes. It is based on the Diabetes Prevention Program research study led by the National Institutes of Health and supported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The lifestyle program in that study showed that making modest behavior changes, such as improving food choices and increasing physical activity to at least 150 minutes per week, helped participants lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight. These lifestyle changes reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent in people at high risk for diabetes.

The program teaches participants strategies for incorporating physical activity into daily life and eating healthy. Lifestyle coaches work with participants to identify emotions and situations that can sabotage their success, and the group process encourages participants to share strategies for dealing with challenging situations.

Participants work with a lifestyle coach in a group setting to receive a 1-year lifestyle change program that includes 16 core sessions (usually 1 per week) and 6 post-core sessions (1 per month).

Participants aim to lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight by reducing fat and calories, and by being physically active for 150 minutes a week (for a person weighing 200 pounds, the goal would be to lose 10 to 14 pounds.) Participants get useful information about eating nutritious foods, eating the right portion sizes, reading food labels, and adding physical activity. The group interaction during the 16-week core program is crucial to the program’s success. With a supportive group to cheer their successes and empathize with their setbacks, participants don’t have to make lifestyle changes alone.

The presence of the CDC logo and CDC content on this page should not be construed to imply endorsement by the US Government of any commercial products or services, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. The mark “CDC” is licensed under authority of the PHS.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.