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Biggest NSW trial ever launched to prevent type 2 diabetes

13 January, 2009

NSW Minister for Health, John Della Bosca, has announced a new $5 million trial to address the growing problem of type 2 diabetes among the NSW adult population.

Della Bosca said The Prevent Diabetes Live Life Well program was the largest community-based diabetes prevention trial ever undertaken in NSW.

"The program will help people aged 50-65 years who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes make the necessary lifestyle changes to avoid the disease," the Minister said.

"We will recruit up to 2500 people through General Practitioners who do not have diabetes but are at risk of developing the disease.

"This Program gives at risk groups the information and support they need to turn their lives around before it is too late - they will be encouraged to eat better and move more.

"Diabetes is a major health threat - but it can be prevented. Left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and amputations.

"About 275 people develop type 2 diabetes every day throughout Australia, and half of those are unaware of their condition.

"The recently released NSW Chief Health Officer's report revealed that in 2007, 58.8 per cent of men and 44.7 per cent of women were overweight or obese. One of the consequences of the obesity epidemic is an increase in diabetes.

"In 2007, 7.8 per cent of men and 6.5 per cent of women across NSW reported having diabetes - a significant rise since 1997 when 5.2 per cent of men and 4.2 per cent of women reported having the disease."

Professor Stephen Colagiuri, a director of the Institute of Obesity, Nutrition and Exercise, University of Sydney, said the program had been developed by the Institute based on scientific evidence gathered in a series of clinical trials.

Participants will be encouraged to achieve five goals:

- Achieve a moderate weight loss;
- Increase daily fibre intake;
- Reduce fat intake to 30 per cent of total energy intake;
- Reduce saturated fat to 10 per cent of total energy intake;
- Increase moderate to intense physical activity.

"This is an important new state-based initiative to tackle the diabetes epidemic," Professor Colagiuri said.

"If they achieve four of these five goals they will prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes," Professor Colagiuri said.

"Participants will learn about aerobic exercise and strength training, they will learn how to modify recipes and how to eat healthily when they dine out.

"They will be supported by teams of community educators, dieticians, exercise physiologists and other health professionals," Professor Colagiuri added. The trial will run until June 2010 at which time it will be reviewed and the State Government will consider expanding the program across NSW.

The Prevent Diabetes Live Life Well program is being run in selected General Practices in the Sydney CBD, Macarthur and the Southern Highlands in collaboration with Sydney South West Area Health Service, The Institute of Obesity, Nutrition and Exercise based at the University of Sydney, NSW Health and Diabetes Australia-NSW.

For more information, call 1300 796 341 or go to www.livelifewell.nsw.gov.au

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