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Feb. 4: Community program helps Coloradans prevent diabetes

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Dave Brendsel
Communications Specialist
Prevention Services Division
Community program helps Coloradans prevent diabetes
One in Three at Risk
DENVER – Estimates show that one in three Coloradans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes within six years. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is partnering with the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver and community groups across Colorado to offer a program proven to help those with pre-diabetes avoid the serious health consequence of type 2 diabetes by making small lifestyle changes.
 “Unfortunately, as obesity rates rise in Colorado, so does our risk for diabetes,” said Dr. Chris Urbina, CDPHE executive director and chief medical officer. “But we can turn the tide on obesity and save thousands of Coloradans from developing diabetes by moving more and eating healthier.”
Pre-diabetes means higher than normal blood sugar levels and is a precursor for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes requires constant monitoring of blood sugar levels and carries the risk for more serious and costly health problems, such as loss of vision, lower limb amputations and kidney disease. A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study estimates that one in three Americans will have type 2 diabetes by 2050 if obesity and pre-diabetes rates continue to climb.
But pre-diabetes does not have to lead to type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program, now being offered by the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver and community groups across Colorado has been shown to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Taught by trained lifestyle coaches, this 16-week program includes weekly sessions on nutrition and physical activity, and information about how to read food labels, how to develop and maintain a healthy diet, and how to deal with stress without overeating.
A diabetes prevention study shows that people who lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight can lower their risk for developing diabetes. For someone weighing 200 pounds, that means losing just 10 – 14 pounds. The Diabetes Prevention Program helps people reach this goal by eating healthier and increasing physical activity to 30 minutes five days a week. 
 “The YMCA of Metropolitan Denver is offering this proven program to show people how making small lifestyle changes can help them feel better and keep them from developing serious health consequences like diabetes,” said Linda James, YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program Coordinator.
Coloradans who are overweight and physically inactive with a family history of diabetes are at greater risk for developing diabetes and should have their blood sugar levels checked by their health care providers to determine their risk. The Diabetes Prevention Program will be offered in Alamosa, Aurora, Burlington, Idaho Springs, Northglenn and throughout Denver. To learn more, call 1-800-DIABETES.