Diabetes Prevention on a Budget
Improving diet and exercise can stop or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, but researchers are still exploring ways to help people make sustainable lifestyle changes. One diabetes prevention program in North Carolina has shown early success, helping participants trim waistlines and improve blood glucose levels, according to research presented at the American Diabetes Association’s 70th Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Fla. After the first year of the Healthy Living Partnerships to Prevent Diabetes (HELP PD) study, which enrolled 300 overweight and obese people with prediabetes, those in the prevention program had reduced their body weight by more than 7 percent on average, compared with only 1 percent in a control group. Researchers gave a rough preliminary estimate of the program’s price tag: $400 per patient per year. The study’s low-cost model relies on community health workers, lay people who are trained to deliver the program.