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The University of Georgia Health Center, located at 55 Carlton St. in Athens, Georgia, on January 21, 2019.

The University of Georgia has announced a new diabetes prevention program named Prevent T2. In the program, participants will over the course of a year work to lose weight and make important lifestyle changes designed to prevent or delay diabetes. The new program represents a positive step and reinforces the university’s commitment to having a healthy student body.

By all measures, it appears that the Prevent T2 program offers an effective means of combating diabetes. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has vetted Prevent T2, ensuring a high quality curriculum presented in both English and Spanish. Participants will work with a lifestyle coach, which should allow them to receive the individual help they need.

Furthermore, the Prevent T2 program targets an issue that is important to Georgia. The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that there were 223,924 diabetes-related hospitalizations in Georgia between 2000 and 2013, and over 10% of Georgians have diabetes. Hundreds of thousands more suffer from pre-diabetes, a condition in which glucose levels are elevated but not enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. According to the CDC, 84.1 million adults — over a third — have pre-diabetes. U.S. News and World Report puts Georgia’s obesity rate at 31.6%, which is nearly the same as the nation’s average (31.3%). Therefore, Georgia’s pre-diabetes rate is likely close to the national average.

The Prevent T2 program directly addresses those at risk for pre-diabetes, allowing anyone exhibiting risk factors to join. The program hopes that through better diet, more exercise and few one hour meetings, participants can avoid the life-altering disease.

It makes staying healthy easier. Though most of us know the basics for leading a healthy lifestyle, they can be difficult to implement in our daily lives as we are burdened with responsibilities and deadlines. Facilitating a healthy lifestyle often seems to be a guiding principle in UGA health initiatives. For example, UGA offers on-campus flu shots, and departments and organizations can request a #FluGA Mobile Clinic. For its Healthy Dawg Campaign, the university makes it easy to become involved, promoting incentives and rewards all over campus.

The new Prevent T2 will help UGA fight diabetes on campus. Taking cues from its previous programs, the university has focused on making healthy choices easier.

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