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HealthPartners joins Community Preventative Services Task Force to provide diabetes prevention programs

New lifestyle programs help prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes

July 20, 2015

Bloomington, Minn. – July 20, 2015 – Some 29 million Americans are currently living with diabetes; and 8.1 million of those don’t know it. Even more startling is the fact that 86 million Americans have prediabetes, but only 11 percent are aware they have it. This week, the Community Preventative Services Task Force released recommendations on how the use of combined diet and physical activity promotion programs can reduce progression to Type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes.

The Task Force, an independent, unpaid group of public health and prevention experts who develop recommendations for community health, commissioned a review of 53 studies describing 66 combined diet and physical activity promotion programs.

According to Nico Pronk, vice president and chief science officer with HealthPartners and a member of the Task Force, they saw a reduction of approximately 40 percent in new cases of type 2 diabetes for those participating in these programs. These programs actively encourage people to improve their diet and increase their physical activity using the following:

  • Trained providers in clinical or community settings who work directly with program participants for at least three months.
  • Some combination of counseling, coaching, and extended support.
  • Multiple sessions related to diet, physical activity, or both, delivered in-person, virtually through email or websites, or by other methods.

Additionally, those participating in higher-intensity programs tended to generate better results, and group-based programs, especially those conducted in the community or in primary care settings, tended to do better than individually oriented programs.

“For many years we’ve simply told people that they can reduce their risk of diabetes through nutrition and exercise, but we realize that it’s not enough just to say it,” says Dr. Pronk. “These programs now provide a proven, tangible plan of action to help patients achieve results.

Aside from the health benefits associated with the study, Dr. Pronk points out there is also a potential cost savings factor at play as well.

“It’s expensive for everyone,” he says. “Recent estimates show that direct medical care and reduced productivity costs in the U.S. were $245 billion in 2012. While this program has costs, it reduces the number of people progressing to type 2 diabetes and ultimately reduces the health costs associated with treatment of diabetes and complications. A structured lifestyle program can generate health, prevent disease, and do so at good value for money.”

The Task Force findings and recommendations, and the systematic reviews on which they are based, are compiled in The Community Guide and can be found on The Community Guide website at

About HealthPartners

HealthPartners is the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. For more information, visit

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