It's Never Too Early to Prevent Diabetes
It's Never Too Early to Prevent Diabetes. That's not just good advice. It's the name of the latest diabetes prevention campaign message put out by the National Diabetes Education Program.
Akinso: It's Never Too Early to Prevent Diabetes. That's not just good advice. It's the name of the latest diabetes prevention campaign message put out by the National Diabetes Education Program. Specifically, the campaign is designed to spread the word about the risk for type 2 diabetes that's faced by mothers and their babies due to a condition known as gestational diabetes mellitus or GDM. The condition affects about 7 percent of all U.S. pregnancies annually, resulting in about 200,000 cases a year. After pregnancy five to ten percent of women who had GDM progress to have type 2 diabetes and their children are at increased risk for obesity and diabetes during childhood and adolescence compared to other children. The campaign offers materials to help women with a history of GDM take steps to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and help their children lower their risk for the disease according to Dr. Griffin Rodgers acting Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Rodgers: The resources offered are prevention materials of a form of a packet or booklet. This booklet, which is entitled "Small Steps, Big Rewards, Prevent type 2 Diabetes," has a lot of informational materials both in English and in Spanish. It has practical advice that people can use on how one can stay fit and increase one's exercise. In addition it also contains valuable information on how to follow a sensible eating plan.
Akinso: The campaign comes from the results from a NIDDK funded study, The Diabetes Prevention Program, which found that people at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing five to seven percent of their body weight through increased physical activity and a low fat, low calorie eating plan. Dr. Rodgers believes that diabetes prevention is proven, possible and powerful.
Rodgers: What we hope to achieve is increased awareness. In addition, we hope to share a positive message, and a message of hope and empowerment; to counter, you know, in a sense what has been seen in some communities almost sort of a fatalistic belief: "That is my parents have diabetes." "My grandparents have diabetes." "I'm quite likely to develop diabetes myself and so there's really nothing that I can do about." Well the purpose of this campaign is really to empower people to realize that with small steps, the diet program and weight loss as well as exercise in fact they can prevent diabetes. And there is very good scientific and medical evidence to prove that. In addition, we hope that the people that hear this message will share it with their friends, co-workers, and family members. And thereby serve as our ambassadors to attempt to amplify the number of people that this message actually reaches.
Akinso: The NDEP has materials for health care professionals and for people at risk for diabetes-including older adults, American Indians, and Alaska Natives, Hispanics, African Americans, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. For information, visit, www.ndep.nih.gov. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. Griffin Rodgers
Topic: Diabetes Prevention