Your Health: Truckee Tahoe locals preventing Type 2 diabetes with proven program

Dana Dose
Your Health


Type 2 Diabetes if You:

Are 45 years of age or older

Are overweight

Have a family history of type 2 diabetes

Are physically active fewer than 3 times per week

Ever had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes) or gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds

To take an online survey to calculate your risk, visit If you score 5 or higher, it is recommended you participate in the program. Contact 530-587-3769 to find out more.

What if someone told you that in 24 hours, you could eliminate or drastically reduce your risk of developing a chronic disease? Now, you can!

Truckee/Tahoe community members are preventing type 2 diabetes together with the Prevent T2 lifestyle change program offered by Tahoe Forest Health System. Guided by a trained lifestyle coach, participant groups are learning the skills they need to make lasting changes like losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active and managing stress. This program is now covered by Medicare, Medi-Cal and many private insurance companies.

People with prediabetes — higher-than-normal blood sugar levels — are 5 to 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with normal blood sugar levels. In fact, if nothing is done to reverse risk, many people with prediabetes will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within 5 years. The really scary part is that most people with slightly elevated blood sugars have not been told that they have “prediabetes” and have no idea they are at risk.

One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater. The Prevent T2 program offers a proven approach to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers. In approximately 24 one-hour sessions over the course of the year, you can gain all of the tools you need to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and possibly completely reverse prediabetes.

One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater.

Participants learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine (and increase effectiveness of physical activity), manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. Prevent T2 groups meet approximately weekly for the first six months, then once or twice a month for the second six months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes. The program’s group setting provides a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.

Prevent T2 is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Tahoe Forest Health System program will start a new series in February, 2020 for English-speaking participants. Thirteen local participants have already graduated from the program, and seven more are nearly halfway through. Tahoe Forest Health System recently started its first Spanish-language DPP group and is working to enroll more community members and local employees to prevent further cases of type 2 diabetes in our population.

Six months after starting the program, the current group has lost an average of 4.3% of their body weight, already making a major impact on their ability to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. One current participant’s blood values have already returned to normal from pre-diabetes levels. Being part of the program gives people the extra incentive boost they need to improve their diet and return to exercising regularly and everyone benefits from learning to overcome obstacles together.

Prevent T2 is based on research that showed that people with prediabetes who lost 5 to 7 percent of their body weight (just 10-14 pounds for a 200 pound person) by making modest changes reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent, and an even higher 71 percent for people over 65 years old.

To participate, contact the Tahoe Forest Customer Care Navigators at 530-587-3769. Call now to sign up or learn more about upcoming classes.

Dana Dose, RDN, LD, CDE, is a wellness dietitian at Tahoe Forest Health System. You can reach Dana at or 530-550-6767.

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