“The coaches are very positive, and they have a lot of information. They get a lot of information from Diabetes Canada. My coach will tell me the good stuff and the bad stuff, and I feel like I can rely on the information she’s giving me,” says Harry, who is a participant in the Canadian Diabetes Prevention Program (CDPP).
This new lifestyle change program is for people who have prediabetes or are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. In addition to regular telephone calls with a personal health coach, CDPP participants like Harry get access to monthly webinars and online education modules that includes health tracking.
CDPP is based on the National Diabetes Prevention Program from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That program successfully showed that for people at risk, losing weight (just five to seven per cent of body weight) and making other lifestyle changes reduced their rate of developing type 2 diabetes by almost 60 per cent in one year.
Based on this evidence, Diabetes Canada and LMC Healthcare worked with the Public Health Agency of Canada to bring the program to Canadians, says Seema Nagpal, vice president of Science and Policy at Diabetes Canada.
Why is CDPP so important for Canadians?
“Type 2 diabetes is a permanent disease once it develops, so prevention is critical,” says endocrinologist Dr. Harpreet Bajaj, who is the lead researcher for CDPP and a volunteer with Diabetes Canada’s professional section. Right now, an estimated six million Canadians live with prediabetes—and half of those people will go on to develop type 2 diabetes if they do not take action.
You can find out if you are eligible for this free one-year program by taking the eligibility quiz. Your doctor can also refer you, if you have prediabetes. The program is currently available in major cities across Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, as well as Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Halifax, and Dartmouth, N.S. It will be expanding to more locations across the country soon.
CDPP is part of a larger effort to tackle the diabetes epidemic through a national diabetes strategy called Diabetes 360⁰, proposed by Diabetes Canada. By knowing your risk, you can do something to change it. For many, that “something” could be signing up for CDPP. “When you prevent diabetes by modifying your risk factors, you are also reducing the risk of many other conditions, like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer,” says Nagpal.
To learn more, visit the Canadian Diabetes Prevention Program.
Did you know?
2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin. Today, more Canadians have diabetes than ever before. Diabetes or prediabetes affects 1 in 3 Canadians. One in 2 young adults will develop diabetes in their remaining lifetime. We can’t wait another 100 years to End Diabetes. #LetsEndDiabetes Visit 100 Years of Insulin to learn more, including how you can support those living with or at risk for the disease.
(This article appeared in Diabetes Dialogue, Spring 2020)
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