Program seeks to help people avoid type 2 diabetes

The type 2 diabetes epidemic continues to worsen, but there are things being done to address the problem. Across the country, initiatives are being launched to help people live healthier lifestyles by eating right and exercising more, both of which may reduce their diabetes risk.

For example, a group of employers and community-based groups recently formed the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, which seeks to support healthy lifestyle choices through its Not Me campaign.

Anne Albright, the director of Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spoke at a recent event in Houston. She said that despite the fact that diabetes rates are skyrocketing in the U.S., there is a lot that can be done to address the situation.

"The good news is we can do something about it," she said. "We have a prevention program that works. To help us change the course of diabetes in America, we need health professionals, lay workers, employers and the private sector."

As part of the program, the Alliance has partnered with local YMCAs to offer 16-session lifestyle interventions for people with prediabetes, a condition that often develops into type 2 diabetes. A second arm of the initiative provides one-on-one counseling to people who have type 2 diabetes, with the goal being to improve their ability to care for themselves.

Despite its growing prevalence, type 2 diabetes is largely avoidable. Adopting a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise are the two best ways to improve well-being and prevent the condition. Programs such as this that help people improve their lifestyle habits could have a significant impact on the rising type 2 diabetes rates.