Baptist Diabetes Prevention Program: Helping Patients Achieve Weight Loss and a Healthier Lifestyle
More than 90% of people living with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Research shows that if a person can lose 5-10% of his or her weight, diabetes can be delayed or even prevented. Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed the Diabetes Prevention Program. This program is available to any Mid-South resident, with or without insurance coverage, at no cost through Baptist.
To begin the program, participants must have a BMI of 25 or greater and a prediabetes A1C range of 5.7–6.4. This range is determined by a patient’s average glucose level over several months. A physician referral is also necessary. Once these requirements have been met, the patient will meet with a specialist to discuss the program.
“We used to average one class per year, but now we have five going on at one time,” said Jennifer Reed, diabetes education program manager for the Baptist Medical Group. “During the 12-month period, participants have to lose at least 7% of their weight.”
Forming New Habits
A registered dietitian or master-level public health administrator is on hand for each group class. This expert provides advice on how to make the right choices about food and helps participants form new habits.
“We identify the person’s goal weight and help them develop a diet that is low in fat and calories, which has been successful for us and for the CDC overall,” said Reed. “Fifty percent or more of the participants in these classes met their goal weight even before reaching the six-month mark.”
Achieving Success and Lasting Results
The accountability and long-term commitment is what makes this class so successful.
“Anyone can do something short-term,” said Reed. “What works about this is the maintenance and continued monitoring they get with their educator. It’s designed to help someone be successful past one year.”
One of the biggest misconceptions about diabetes is that cutting out carbs will help solve the problem. The Diabetes Prevention Program also helps dispel those myths and breaks down the facts.
“The brain requires 100 grams of carbs to do its job, and that’s needed for energy,” said Reed. “Carbs are not our enemy. The biggest risk factors in my mind are sugary drinks and physical inactivity.”