Increasing Access to Type 2 Diabetes Prevention

Ensuring that all adults at risk of type 2 diabetes have access to the lifestyle change program

Mature woman in an exercise class

Reaching groups with higher rates of type 2 diabetes but lower enrollment.

The CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) is a partnership of public and private organizations working together to deliver an affordable, evidence-based lifestyle change program to help people with prediabetes prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Working with a trained Lifestyle Coach, program participants learn to make better food choices, be more physically active, and find ways to cope with problems and stress. These lifestyle changes can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 58% (71% for those over 60).

Although the lifestyle change program is available nationwide, enrollment is low among some groups at higher risk of type 2 diabetes. To increase enrollment among these groups, CDC helps national organizations start and sustain programs in areas that have fewer resources to address health disparities.

Reaching Populations and Communities With Fewer Resources

Expanding the National DPP

DDT funds 10 national organizations to expand the National DPP lifestyle change program in areas with limited resources. The goal is to increase the availability of the program for all adults with prediabetes or at high risk of type 2 diabetes.

Each organization launched new programs in underserved areas. They focused on enrolling participants from populations with higher rates of type 2 diabetes but lower rates of program enrollment. These populations include:

  • African American, Asian American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Pacific Islander people.
  • People with a visual impairment or physical disability.
  • Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Men.

These efforts help people with prediabetes who live in areas with limited access successfully complete the program and significantly reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.

Lessons Learned

CDC evaluated delivery of the lifestyle change program in underserved communities to identify best practices that other National DPP providers can use. All programs were tailored to the specific communities they were trying to reach to help ensure success. Experts in diabetes and health disparities helped interpret the evaluation results. See these profiles for an overview of selected strategies and activities, as well as success stories and performance highlights.


Telehealth holds promise for increasing access to and engaging individuals in the National DPP lifestyle change program. Telehealth technologies such as phones, smartphone apps, computers, and videos can be used to deliver the program in areas with limited access. Recent advances in these technologies have made telehealth an effective way to address barriers that prevent some people from enrolling in the program.

Advantages of telehealth include the following:

  • Telehealth can reach more participants than traditional in-person programs.
  • Telehealth technologies are less restricted by distance and time barriers, which improves access for people living in rural areas or other areas with limited resources.
  • Many potential participants have access to the Internet or devices needed to use telehealth.

CDC created a Guide for Using Telehealth Technologies pdf icon[PDF – 933 KB] for organizations that want to offer the lifestyle change program through telehealth. It describes practical steps for getting started and lists specific considerations for each telehealth technology.

Lessons Learned

CDC also evaluated how current organizations are using telehealth to deliver the lifestyle change program. The following case studies describe program structure, technologies used, implementation steps, and lessons learned:

Page last reviewed: March 24, 2022