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Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

When you take steps to prevent diabetes, you will also lower your risk for possible complications of diabetes such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, and other health problems. That’s a big reward for you and your family and friends.

The Small Steps. Big Rewards. GAME PLAN kit is based on the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) (PDF, 193 KB). This research study proved that type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed in persons with increased risk by losing a small amount of weight and getting 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, five days a week. NDEP used the findings from the study to prepare the GAME PLAN kit and to make it as easy as possible for you to take steps now to prevent diabetes.

Here’s what’s in the GAME PLAN kit:

Set a Weight​ Loss Goal

Plan to set a weight loss goal: The key to preventing diabetes is to lose weight by eating healthy foods that are lower in fat and calories and being physically active. Set a goal that you can achieve. A good goal is to lose at least 5 to 10 percent (10 to 20 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds) of your current weight. A 5 to 7 percent weight loss was shown to have a big impact on lowering the risk of diabetes in the DPP study.

Make Healthy Food C​hoices

Make healthy food choices to help reach your weight loss goal. There are many weight loss plans from which to choose. But the DPP (PDF, 193 KB) showed that you can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes by losing weight through a low-fat, reduced calorie eating plan, and by increasing physical activity.

Move ​More

When you move more every day, you will burn more calories. This will help you reach your weight loss goal. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days a week. If you have not been active, start off slowly, building up to your goal. Try brisk walking, dancing, swimming, biking, jogging, or any physical activity that helps get your heart rate up. You don’t have to get all your physical.

Take Action

Use NDEP's tools to help you take steps to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Make a plan 

Change begins with Just One Step 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.

This information is not copyrighted. The NIDDK encourages people to share this content freely.