Make a Change for Life

The Diabetes Prevention Program at Lakeland Regional Health

Some of the most effective steps include healthier eating, exercise, weight loss or maintenance, and stress management.

It’s a life-altering medical condition that affects more than 34.2 million people (or about 10.5 percent of the U.S. population). This statistic is staggering in and of itself, but in actuality, the number of people with this condition is much higher — because an estimated additional 7.3 million people don’t even know they have it.*

Which medical condition has such significant numbers?

The answer might surprise you. It’s type 2 diabetes.**


Common But Preventable

Due to its prevalence, some people may consider diabetes to be a diagnosis that can’t be prevented. However, the fact is that a diabetic diagnosis does not have to be inevitable. In many cases, with the right interventions and healthy habits, developing type 2 diabetes can actually be avoided altogether.

Since 21.4 percent of people with diabetes are undiagnosed, the first step is connecting with your Primary Care Provider to review your risk factors, complete lab work if needed, and discuss whether the care of an endocrinologist would be beneficial.




An estimated 88 million adults aged 18 years (34.5 percent of the adult U.S. population) or older have prediabetes, which is characterized by high blood sugar levels. Not all patients with prediabetes have symptoms, which is why annual physicals and discussions about risk factors with your physician are essential to early detection, and ultimately prevention.


While each person’s recommended path to diabetes prevention is as individual as they are, some of the most effective steps include healthier eating, exercise, weight loss or maintenance, and stress management.

Since these steps each provide their own set of challenges, it can be very easy for patients to feel overwhelmed or unprepared to take action. They can also struggle with ensuring that the actions they are already taking are having the desired result of positively impacting their health. That’s why support throughout this process makes a world of difference.


Finding Community — Here, Just for You

The Lakeland Regional Health Endocrinology Clinic is proud to offer the Diabetes Prevention Program — designed specifically to counteract prediabetes. When the lifestyle choices taught during this program are followed, the result can be a decreased chance of developing type 2 diabetes. The program can also lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, improve your health, help you feel more energetic, and may even help you to reverse your prediabetes diagnosis.

Research shows that participants of CDC-recognized lifestyle change programs who lost between 5­ and 7 percent of their body weight — and added 150 minutes of exercise per week — cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 58 percent! (This number increased to 71 percent for people over 60.)

If program participants continue to practice what they learned, they were one-third less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than individuals who did not join a program — even a full decade later.

Program Format

At the LRH Diabetes Prevention Program, a trained lifestyle coach works with a small cohort of participants in a face-to-face classroom setting. The 22-session program meets 16 times during the first 6 months, and then once a month for the last 6 months.

To qualify, participants must have:

  • Prediabetes
  • No previous diagnosis of diabetes, gestational diabetes or
  • A blood test result in the prediabetes range within the past year:
    • Hemoglobin A1C: 5.7–6.4% or
    • Fasting plasma glucose: 100–125 mg/dL (110-125 mg/dL for Medicare)
  • A body mass index ≥25 (≥23 if Asian)

Get Started

The program is a covered benefit for many insurance plans (including Medicare) and is available at no cost to LRH team members. To check if your insurance plan covers the Diabetes Prevention Program, please call 863.284.1604.

Cohorts start several times a year, and start dates are dependent on meeting the participant registration quota, so bring a friend! To find out when the next cohort begins, please call 863.284.1604 or e-mail

*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


**Type 2 diabetes, which is the focus of this article, is considered to be brought on by lifestyle-related factors and develops over time. Type 1 diabetes is a genetic condition that often shows up early in life (which is why it is sometimes referred to as juvenile diabetes).