UW College of Health Sciences Offers New Diabetes Prevention Program 2 | News

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Guided by a trained lifestyle coach, groups of participants learn the skills needed to make lasting changes, such as losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active and managing stress. 

“One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater,” says Jenifer Thomas, an associate professor in the UW Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing and a diabetes prevention program lifestyle coach. “The program offers a proven approach to preventing or delaying the onset of Type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”

People are more likely to have prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes if they are 45 years of age or older; are overweight; have a family history of Type 2 diabetes; are physically active fewer than three times per week; or have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy or given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.

The program is open to participants 18 years of age or older who have a body mass index of 25 or more — or greater than 23 if Asian American — have prediabetes or are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Story Highlights

  • University of Wyoming students, staff and faculty from across campus are invited to join a new diabetes prevention program — offered through the UW College of Health Sciences — aimed at preventing Type 2 diabetes.

  • People with prediabetes — higher-than-normal blood glucose (sugar) levels — are five to 15 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels. In fact, many people with prediabetes can be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within five years. 

Participants in the program will learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. The diabetes prevention program meets for a year — weekly for the first six months, then once or twice a month for the second six months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes. The program’s group setting provides a supportive environment with people facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together, participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles, Thomas says.

The program meets Tuesdays from 2-3 p.m. and is free of cost (a $500 value). The College of Health Sciences is working to enroll new participants for the program’s Feb. 1 start date.

The diabetes prevention program is based on research that showed people with prediabetes who lost 5 to 7 percent of their body weight — 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person — by making modest changes, reduced their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. “Small changes can add up to a big difference,” Thomas says. “Working with a trained lifestyle coach who provides guidance, program participants are making lasting changes together.”

Participants can enroll here in the diabetes prevention program. For more information about the program, call Thomas at 766-3546 or email jthoma41@uwyo.edu.