The CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a 1-year long lifestyle modification program designed to help pre-diabetic patients lose 5-7% of their weight through diet and lifestyle modification. This involves 22 group classes delivered over the course of 1 year.
The DPP study, conducted by the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group, was a major multi-center clinical research study published in 2002 with 3,234 participants who were overweight and had pre-diabetes, aimed at discovering whether modest weight loss through dietary changes and increased physical activity or treatment with the oral diabetes drug Metformin (Glucophase) was more effective at preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes. The DPP showed that people at risk for developing diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes by losing a modest amount of weight through diet and exercise. DPP participants in the lifestyle intervention group reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent during the study.
Lifestyle changes worked particularly well for participants aged 60 and older, reducing their risk by 71 percent. Participants taking Metformin reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 31 percent which was less dramatic than the lifestyle modification group. The researchers published their findings in the February 7, 2002, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (“Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes with Lifestyle Intervention or Metformin“).