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Published on July 22, 2020

Billings Clinic Lifestyle Balance Program receives CDC Full Recognition

Enrollment open for next session starting September 2020, virtual option available

(Billings, MT)- The Billings Clinic Lifestyle Balance Program received full recognition from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The long-standing program has been part of the Montana Diabetes Prevention Program for many years. Through the program, community members are preventing type 2 diabetes together. Guided by a trained lifestyle coach, groups of participants are learning the skills they need to make lasting changes such as losing weight, being more physically active, and managing stress.

The next year-long session of Lifestyle Balance starts in September, and participants are required to attend an information session before enrolling. To sign up for an information session, please visit billingsclinic.com/classes. The sessions will take place:

  • August 10 at noon
  • August 11 at 4:30 p.m.
  • August 17 at noon
  • August 18 at 4:30 p.m.

Lifestyle Balance classes are available either in person or virtually.

People with prediabetes — higher-than-normal blood glucose (sugar) levels — are 5 to 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels. In fact, many people with prediabetes can be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within 5 years.

“One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater,” said Lisa Ranes, Billings Clinic Manager of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism. “The Lifestyle Balance program offers a proven approach to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”

Participants in the Lifestyle Balance program learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. Lifestyle Balance groups meet for a year — weekly for the first 6 months, then once or twice a month for the second 6 months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes. The program’s group setting provides a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.

Lifestyle Balance is now part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Lifestyle Balance is based on research that showed that people with prediabetes who lost 5 to 7 percent of their body weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) by making modest changes reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.

Nationwide implementation of the program could greatly reduce future cases of type 2 diabetes, a serious condition that can lead to health problems including heart attack; stroke; blindness; kidney failure; or loss of toes, feet, or legs.

“Small changes can add up to a big difference,” Ranes added. “Working with a trained lifestyle coach who provides guidance, Lifestyle Balance participants are making lasting changes together.”

People are more likely to have prediabetes and type 2 diabetes if they:

  • Are 45 years of age or older;
  • Are overweight;
  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes;
  • Are physically active fewer than three times per week; or
  • Have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.

Learn more about Lifestyle Balance and diabetes prevention at Billings Clinic by visiting billingsclinic.com/diabetes.

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