New diabetes prevention recommendations

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – Nine percent of the U.S. population suffers from type 2 diabetes. What’s more, 37 percent of adults are at very high risk of developing it.

If nothing were done to help, every year ten percent of those at high risk would become diabetic.

To combat the problem, the Community Preventive Services Task Force released a new set of recommendations for health care providers and communities to provide programs that encourage good diet and exercise habits for those patients with type 2 diabetes and others at high risk for the disease.

“Not only did the task force look at the effectiveness of a combined intervention, but the cost-effectiveness for communities,” says Betul Hatipoglu, MD, and endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic.

The task force analyzed data from 53 studies describing 66 programs designed to reduce the onset of diabetes.

Their findings support a collaborative promotion of programs by health care providers and communities to provide opportunities to individuals at high risk.

Following a similar recommendation made by the U.S. Preventive Task Force in August 2014, this decision means that insurance companies are more likely to provide coverage for patients.

“Patients who are aware of their high risk should see this as a second chance,” says Dr. Hatipoglu. “They can either intervene with exercise and diet, or do nothing about it and further advance diabetes.”

The task force recommends programs that include trained providers who work directly with patients for at least three months. The sessions should contain a combination of counseling, coaching, and diet guidelines.

Researchers say higher intensity programs lead to greater weight loss and a greater reduction in new onset diabetes.

Begin by eating a Mediterranean-style diet and talk to your doctor about starting an exercise program.

“We currently recommend at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week,” says Dr. Hatipoglu. “If you can throw in some weight training a couple of times a week – even if it’s light – that is really helpful, too.”

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