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It’s Not Too Late to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes: Take Your First Step Today

Image: It’s Not Too Late to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes: Take Your First Step Today

Did you know that as you get older, you have a greater chance of getting type 2 diabetes? It’s true. At least one out of every four Americans over 65 has diabetes. The good news is that you can take steps to prevent or delay the disease

Research has shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing a small amount of weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) – and becoming more active. In fact, adults over 60 years old were more successful at preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes than other age groups.

The National Diabetes Education Program wants older adults to know that it’s not too late to prevent type 2 diabetes. Here are some tips to help you find ways to move more and make healthy food choices to lower your chances of getting type 2 diabetes.

  • Get moving – and have fun!
    • Getting active can help you be more flexible and strong. It can also improve your balance. Ask your doctor how you can safely start to be more active.
    • Find ways to move more every day. Try brisk walking, swimming, dancing or riding a bike.
    • Add more activity each day until you reach at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
  • Eat well.
    • Choose healthy foods. Eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer high-fat and high-calorie foods to help with weight loss.
    • Reduce portion sizes. Eat smaller amounts of food to help with weight loss.
  • Get your friend and family involved.
    • Eat fruit instead of cookies and chips when your grandkids, friends and family visit.
    • Show the younger people in your life the dances you enjoy.
  • Make a plan.
    • Think about what is important to your health and what changes you are willing and able to make.
    • Choose one goal to work on and decide what steps will help your reach your goal.
  • Find out how insurance coverage can help you lose weight and prevent type 2 diabetes.
    • Medicare covers all or some of the costs of certain exams, tests and check-ups for people who have a greater chance of getting diabetes.
    • Medicare will also cover certain weight loss services and programs.

It’s not too late to prevent diabetes, especially for older Americans. Now is the time to take control of your health, not only for yourself, but for your family.

More information about how you can prevent type 2 diabetes is provided in the NIDDK health topic, It’s Not Too Late to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes.


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.


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April 2015

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