Research studies have shown that moderate weight loss and exercise can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. The national Diabetes Prevention Program, a major federally funded study of 3,324 people at high risk for diabetes, showed that people can delay and possibly prevent the disease by losing a small amount of weight (5-7% of total body weight) through 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week, along with healthier eating.
Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include:
- Family history of diabetes
- Being overweight or obese
- African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino heritage
- Prior history of gestational diabetes
- Or- a birth of at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- High blood pressure (140/90 mm Hg or higher)
- Abnormal cholesterol with HDL (“good”) cholesterol is 35 or less, or triglyceride level is 250 or higher
- Physical inactivity (exercising less than 3 times a week)
Determine your risk with the American Diabetes Association Risk Factor Test
- Occurs when a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet in the diabetic range.
- A person with pre-diabetes is at risk for getting type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Those with pre-diabetes can reduce the risk of getting diabetes and even return to normal blood glucose levels with modest weight loss and moderate physical activity.
National Diabetes Education Program’s Small Steps, Big Rewards: Your GAME PLAN to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes