Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Diabetes Prevention in the Workplace

A new study published in Preventing Chronic Disease in November 2015 yielded positive results about workplace-based diabetes prevention. The study was a randomized control trial on 69 subjects with prediabetes, and it evaluated the efficacy of a worksite lifestyle intervention modeled after the first 6 months of the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP). Participants in the lifestyle intervention group attended 16 weekly small-group meetings designed to help them reach a goal of 5-7% weight loss and 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Participants in the control group received standard prediabetes care from their healthcare providers, including a booklet of strategies for self-regulated weight loss from the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP).

Participants in the lifestyle intervention group outperformed their standard intervention counterparts immediately post-intervention and at 3-month follow-up:

  • The lifestyle intervention group lost a greater percentage of their baseline body weight, a mean loss of 5.5% vs. a mean loss of 0.4% in the control group.
  • This difference in weight loss persisted at 3-month follow up.
  • The lifestyle intervention group achieved significantly greater reductions in waist circumference, blood glucose, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and dietary fat intake. 
  • These differences persisted at 3-month follow-up.

Study authors commented that although the long-term effects of worksite lifestyle interventions need to be investigated further, these results show that worksites can be effective settings for offering diabetes prevention programming like the National DPP.

In Colorado, CDPHE staff and partners are working to increase evidence-based lifestyle change programs, like the National DPP, as covered health plan benefits for employees across the state. To learn more about this effort, contact Becky DiOrio at

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