New Guide to Help Gyms Leverage the Diabetes Prevention Program

    According to the CDC, more than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar is elevated, but not yet to the levels of type 2 diabetes. Most people do not know they have prediabetes—only 11.6% of people with the condition are aware.

    BOSTON—January 4, 2019—Diabetes is a growing problem for American families and the healthcare system. According to the CDC, more than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar is elevated, but not yet to the levels of type 2 diabetes. Most people do not know they have prediabetes. Only 11.6% of people with the condition are aware.

    The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that diagnosed diabetes costs $327 billion a year. One in seven healthcare dollars in the U.S. is spent treating diabetes and its complications.

    The good news is diabetes is largely preventable through healthy lifestyle measures like healthy diet and exercise. We know this because of the results of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), which started as a randomized controlled study in 1996. The study followed people who were randomly divided into three groups: an intensive lifestyle change program, a medication group, and a control group. The trial ended early because the results were so compelling—taking metformin resulted in a 31% lower risk of developing diabetes, and the lifestyle change program resulted in a 58% lower risk. Older people fared even better: those in the lifestyle change program who started after age 60 lowered their diabetes risk by 71%. Since then, researchers continued to follow most of the participants over the following 15 years and found the DPP Lifestyle Change program continued to be effective in preventing diabetes and was cost-effective after 10 years.

    The CDC launched a diabetes prevention program curriculum, Prevent T2, in 2016, and for years Medicare has reimbursed lifestyle change programs to prevent diabetes run by clinical centers. Now, as of 2018, Medicare will reimburse non-clinical centers—like health clubs—who deliver CDC recognized diabetes prevention programs.

    “The trial ended early because the results were so compelling—taking metformin resulted in a 31% lower risk of developing diabetes, and the lifestyle change program resulted in a 58% lower risk.”

    Therefore, to help clubs guide their members with or at risk for diabetes, IHRSA has released the How Your Club Can Leverage New Diabetes Prevention Program briefing paper. This resource will help fitness centers understand different strategies for implementing the DPP in a gym setting. It includes:

    • Three ways to implement DPP
    • Checklist to build your program
    • Data security tips
    • Insight from a club implementing DPP

    IHRSA members can find more information on the IHRSA website.

    About IHRSA

    The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and activity promotion.

    IHRSA maintains a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical to America’s health and the battle against obesity and chronic lifestyle disease. IHRSA supports policies that promote more active lifestyles to foster healthier, happier lives.

    Author avatar

    Alexandra Black Larcom @ihrsagetactive

    Alexandra Black Larcom, MPH, RD, LDN, is the Senior Manager of Health Promotion & Health Policy for IHRSA. She spends her days working on resources and projects that help IHRSA clubs offer effective health programs in their communities, and convincing lawmakers that policies promoting exercise are an excellent idea. Outside the office you'll most likely find Alex at the gym, running on the Charles River, or, in the fall, by a TV cheering on the Florida Gators.