It is said that and ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is especially true if there is no cure. In the case of type two diabetes, commonly known as adult onset diabetes, prevention and cure are the same prescription. Exercise more than you are now, and lose weight.
The CDC has started a program that focuses on seniors, The Diabetes Prevention Program.
The DPP’s results indicate that millions of high-risk people can delay or avoid developing type 2 diabetes by losing weight through regular physical activity and a diet low in fat and calories. Weight loss and physical activity lower the risk of diabetes by improving the body’s ability to use insulin and process glucose.
Now, here at ‘One Small Change’ we don’t care about millions of people, we only care about you. I have been saying for almost a year now that losing weight is not the goal. Breaking habits is what I strive for. Losing weight is a side benefit of breaking your shopping habits at the store and in restaurants. I suppose I could add that if you break the habit of always taking the elevator and instead finding the stairs. Start walking up and it could reduce your chances of developing diabetes. It could contribute to your hearth and lower your weight at the same time. Just exercising has no chance of lowering your weight, though.
The New York Times has a long article about the CDC program. The program has expanded to be offered all over the country. If you have a local YMCA you can probably find information there about how to enroll, since YMCA is the largest organization involved. (Here is a list) The program is not a diet.
“This is not a ‘diet,’ some sort of temporary thing,” Dr. Albright said. “This is intended to help people adopt new habits and to look at that as a way of life.”
Ah, adopt new habits. We are so far ahead of the game here. I am not a senior yet, I am making new habits (no processed foods, no added sugars) and now I find that all I still need to do is take the stairs more often. The habits I might consider breaking are taking my car the three blocks to the grocery store. I will try to walk more often. Maybe I will take up bicycling, like my 87 year old uncle Vernon and ride 25 miles a day like he does. Bet he doesn’t have pre-diabetes.
The C.D.C. curriculum involves 16 weekly sessions, then monthly follow-ups for a year. The goal, along with 150 minutes a week of walking or other physical activity, is significant weight loss. “You will get diabetes reduction at 4 percent” of body weight, Dr. Albright said. “But we’re shooting for 5 to 7 percent.” In Y.M.C.A. programs, the organization says, participants average a 5.7 percent loss after a year.
The CDC program is also not free. If you are the type of person more likely to continue something that you paid good money for, then paying to enroll is a good idea. If you are like me and pinch every penny, then it is good to know that you can get all of the benefits of this program by reading this blog every day (for a sense of community) and by quitting processed foods and sweetened drinks. We won’t need to be on chemicals to keep our sugar down, or our blood pressure. We won’t need to take other chemicals to counteract the side effects of the original chemical. Nothing good comes from putting band aids all over the problem, which is added sugar and artificial ingredients. Stop hurting yourself with poisoned foods and you won’t need medicine.
I do like seeing the official recognition that we are on the right track. I wish they would quit demonizing fats, always calling for low-fat. We have to get our calories from somewhere and fats are way better than carbs for doing the job. We all want to be healthy in our old age, so that we can enjoy our grand and great grand children. I don’t know about you, but I want to die in perfect health.