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Benefits for Your Patients

When you refer your patients to a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program, you’re connecting them with a proven approach for making lasting healthy changes.

Proven, Science-Based Programs

man and daughter in boat

Participating in a program to lose weight through healthy eating and increased physical activity can reduce your patients' risk of type 2 diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.

CDC-recognized lifestyle change programs are based on years of research showing that a year-long, structured lifestyle change intervention reduced the incidence of diabetes by 58% among adults with prediabetes and by 71% among those aged 60 years or older. The same study showed a 31% reduction with metformin compared with placebo. The researchers concluded that the lifestyle intervention was significantly more effective than metformin.

And the results last. Even after 10 years, people who completed a diabetes prevention lifestyle change program had a 34% lower rate of type 2 diabetes.

Participating in a program to lose weight through healthy eating and increased physical activity can also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

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Quality Standards

To ensure high-quality interventions, CDC only recognizes lifestyle change programs that meet evidence-based standards and show they can achieve results. These standards include:

  • Following a CDC-approved curriculum
  • Facilitation by a trained lifestyle coach
  • Making regular data submission (according to the timeline dictated in the current DPRP Standards) to show that the program is having an impact.


To learn more about these standards, take a look at 2018 CDC Recognition Program Standards and Operating Procedures [PDF – 873KB].

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Realistic Goals and Lots of Support

Part of the success of these programs is that they require only moderate weight loss to achieve preventive health benefits. Weight loss of 5% to 7% of body weight—10 to 14 pounds for a person weighing 200 pounds—and 150 minutes of physical activity per week led to the results documented in the research studies.

Participants should stay in the program for the full year to ensure they learn and maintain healthy habits. The group support and trained lifestyle coach encourage continued participation.

Thousands of people with prediabetes or otherwise at high risk for type 2 diabetes have completed the program. See what participants have said at Testimonials from Participants.

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Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group, Knowler WC, Barrett-Connor E, Fowler SE, Hamman RF, Lachin JA, Walker EA, Nathan DM. Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes with Lifestyle Intervention or Metformin. N Engl J Med 2002;346:393-403. 
Available from

Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group, Knowler WC, Fowler SE, Hamman RF, Christophi CA, Hoffman HJ, Brenneman AT, Brown-Friday JO, Goldberg R, Venditti E, Nathan DM. 10-year follow-up of diabetes incidence and weight loss in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study. Lancet. 2009;374(9702):1677-86. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61457-4. Epub 2009 Oct 29. 
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Tuomilehto J, Lindstrom J, Eriksson J, et al; Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study Group. Prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus by changes in lifestyle among subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. N Engl J Med 2001; 344:1343–1350. 
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