The National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is a program which uses the Center for Disease Control curriculum designed to help individuals prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Participants attend weekly sessions focused on weight loss through fat gram reduction and increased physical activity. DPP is facilitated by an Altru Certified Lifestyle Coach and provides a safe space to help participants achieve individual weight loss goals and promote a healthy lifestyle.
DPP participant, Pam, signed up in September after discussing the program with a fellow colleague. Although this group started in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus didn’t hold back the few individuals enrolled. Because of the small group of participants, the group was able to still meet in person, they followed social distancing guidelines and always wore masks.
Accountability with each DPP cohort provides support needed to motivate individuals to succeed. Pam’s favorite part of DPP is being able to attend the sessions and share recipes, successes, and struggles with others in the group. Her favorite sessions were learning about MyPlate and balanced eating and how to make exercise fun as well as how to keep motivated during challenging times. Being around others who are going through a similar situation helps Pam feel motivated and supported. Pam doesn’t just have the support of her fellow DPP participants, she also has the full support of her coworkers at Altru. They continue to help encourage and support Pam to continue with her healthy lifestyle choices.
The goals Pam set were realistic and required a lot of work, but Pam was able to meet her goals halfway through the program and continues to meet new personal goals. She was able to push through major holidays and other events by practicing the tips and methods she learned during her time in DPP. Pam still has a few months to go until she reaches the end of the program, but with the support from the other participants, she will continue to go above and beyond. Pam would tell someone who is considering joining to “go for it, it’s a great program. It’s not easy but you have the support you need to keep going”.
To register for the next Diabetes Prevention Program visit www.ndc3.org.
Samantha Penland, UND Student Dietitian
Jennifer Haugen, RD, CSSD, LD