March 19, 2018
Stopping prediabetes in its tracks
Today, more than 84 million Americans have prediabetes. That’s a staggering one in three adults.
The most astonishing part? Ninety percent of these individuals have no idea they’re prediabetic.
Employers should be especially concerned, seeing as businesses spend an average of $4,410 more for employees living with diabetes, compared to those who don’t. On top of that, indirect costs from increased absenteeism, reduced productivity and inability to work pose a significant issue. But there’s a silver lining: prediabetes can be halted in its tracks.
The Prediabetes Predicament Luncheon
A panel of diabetes professionals spoke on some of the ways local businesses are motivating their employees to take proactive measures against the condition, including:
- Robert Schwab, MD, UNMC
- Cassandra Knutson, American Diabetes Association
- Midge Chandler, Diabetes Education Center of the Midlands
- Cynthia Castro Sweet, Ph.D., Omada Health
- Elaine Murphy, SimplyWell
- Jeannie Hannan, UNMC EngAge Wellness
My employees have prediabetes — now what?
Panelists noted that people who are diagnosed with prediabetes can delay or prevent the disease with some simple lifestyle changes. But eating healthier and moving more is easier said than done.
There’s a lot employers can do to help.
For one, encouraging employees to take a prediabetes risk assessment is a good place to start. After all, the majority of prediabetic individuals are unaware they have the condition to begin with.
From there, employers can ask their Biometric Screening providers to refer prediabetic employees to a Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP).
The Diabetes Prevention Program
Changing habits doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s a lot easier with some local support. DPP brings together community members with prediabetes over the course of a year — and holds a track record of reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent.
DPP participants meet once a week for 16 weeks, and then monthly for the remainder of the year. In that time, people with prediabetes learn to take charge of their health and well-being by eating a healthy diet and incorporating physical activity into their daily lives.
With the tools and regular peer support needed to stay on track, DPP participants are able to develop long-lasting lifestyle changes.
Businesses can partner with a DPP provider to offer classes for employees, or even become a DPP provider themselves.
DPP Providers in Douglas County include:
Diabetes Education Center of the Midlands
402-399-0777 ext. 230
UNMC EngAge Wellness
For more information on taking action to address prediabetes among your employees, contact WELLCOM at firstname.lastname@example.org.