The Davis Medical Center Diabetes Prevention Program is one of only two programs in West Virginia to achieve preliminary recognition by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The DMC Diabetes Prevention Program helps its participants cut the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Jim Severino, who is the Director of Nutrition Services and a Certified Diabetes Educator with DMC, said the preliminary recognition means participants in the DMC Diabetic Prevention Program can be ensured that they are receiving a professional results-driven program that has had positive results.
“We now have the ability to serve our community not only with a program that provides education and training after a diagnosis of diabetes, but one that can offer community members an educational program if they have been diagnosed with prediabetes,” Severino said. “It’s estimated there are 84 million American adults that have prediabetes.”
Severino said the number of adults with diabetes has more than tripled in the last 20 years as the U.S population has aged and become more overweight. “Now more than 30 million Americans have diabetes, which increases their risk for a long list of serious health problems including heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and loss of toes, feet or legs.”
He said the good news is the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program’s lifestyle change program can help prediabetics prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes and improve their overall health.
“It’s scientifically proven, and it works,” Severino said.
A CDC-recognized lifestyle change program is a structured program – delivered in person or online – developed specifically to prevent Type 2 diabetes. It is designed for people who have prediabetes or are at risk for Type 2 diabetes, but who do not already have diabetes.
“A trained lifestyle coach leads the program to help change certain aspects of your lifestyle like eating healthier, reducing stress and getting more physical activity. The program includes group support from others who share the same goals and who are facing the same struggles,” Severino said. “This lifestyle change program is not a fad diet or an exercise class. And it’s not a quick fix. It’s a year-long program focused on long-term changes and lasting results.”
Severino said the data collected so far from the DMC Diabetes Prevention Program had to reach certain positive results to include weight loss, participation and activity duration in order to achieve preliminary recognition from the CDC.
“The next step is to achieve full recognition from the CDC,” he said. “There are only three programs in West Virginia who have achieved full recognition and only one other program in West Virginia that has achieved preliminary recognition. We will continue to have classes throughout the year and collect statistics. The better our results are in terms of participation, behavior changes, weight loss and activity minutes, the closer we can move to full recognition.”
The DMC Prediabetes Prevention Program classes run a full year, so the next classes will begin in January 2019. “We will set a date for the new classes and it will be advertised in local newspapers and on social media.
Severino said people who have a family history of diabetes or those who are curious to learn more can take a quiz about prediabetes at https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/pdf/prediabetestest.pdf.
“If your results show you are at risk, talk to your doctor about getting a simple blood sugar test to confirm your results. The sooner you find out you have prediabetes, the sooner you can take action to prevent Type 2 diabetes,” Severino said.