prediabetes workplace wellness

Lifestyle Changes Can Help Prevent Prediabetes

Diabetes — and prediabetes — continues to be a key focus area for any well-run workplace wellness program.

As we’ve reported, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  released its report on Americans with diabetes or prediabetes. Once again, it’s evident that Americans — and well-run workplace wellness programs that focus on helping members manage chronic disease — have their work cut out for them.

The report finds that “More than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes.” Further, “as of 2015, 30.3 million Americans – 9.4 percent of the U.S. population –have diabetes. Another 84.1 million have prediabetes, a condition that if not treated often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years.”

To help raise awareness to the issue — with a combination of facts and humor — the Ad Council teamed with the American Medical Association and the CDC to create DoIHavePrediabetes.org.

The site notes: “Prediabetes means a person’s blood glucose (sugar) level is higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed with diabetes. People with prediabetes are on the road to develop type 2 diabetes within several years, and are also at increased risk for serious health problems, such as stroke and heart disease. There are some prediabetes risks you can’t control, like age and family history. But there are things you can do to reduce your risk, such as increased physical activity and weight loss. And making these lifestyle changes can also help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.”

“There are not usually symptoms when you have prediabetes. Talk to your doctor to know for sure. A simple blood test can confirm if you have prediabetes.”

The site also offers various lifestyle tips, including:

Manage Your Weight: “Losing just 5-7 percent of your body weight can slow or even reverse prediabetes. For a person who weighs 200 pounds, that’s only 10-15 pounds.” Also, “staying at this healthy weight in the long run is very important to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Being more active and eating healthier are great ways to help manage your weight.”

Get Active: “Get at least 2.5 hours (150 minutes) of light aerobic activity every week. This could be as simple as going for a brisk 30-minute walk 5 days per week. Even 10 minutes at a time adds up. Small steps can lead to big changes.” Also, “find simple ways to be more active throughout the day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking farther away from the entrance of a store front when you hit the shops.”

Eat Healthier: “Reading food labels is so important. The more you know about what goes into your food, the better decisions you’ll be able to make. Also, try and cut down on foods with saturated fat or trans-fat, and hydrogenated fat or partially hydrogenated fat. Check labels to help you make healthy choices.” Also, “choose foods with less sodium than your usual choices.”

Quit Smoking: “Ask others for their help and understanding. Ask a friend who smokes to consider quitting with you. It can often be easier that way.” Also, “talk with your doctor about treatments or programs that can help you quit smoking.”