Programs and Initiatives in Communities Mobility Diabetes Prevention Program Curriculum Adaptation Project

Programs & Initiatives in Communities
Mobility Limitation Diabetes Prevention Program Curriculum Adaption

The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) encourages healthy lifestyle changes proven to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. In order to better address the needs of people who have mobility limitations, like someone in a wheelchair or who needs assistance walking, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Diabetes Unit is adapting the program to be relatable and accessible to help these individuals prevent type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes Prevention Program

While one in three Minnesota adults have prediabetes, most don’t even know they have the disease. Prediabetes means blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes. The DPP is led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and encourages lifestyle changes such as healthier eating, more physical activity, and improved problem-solving and coping skills.

The DPP is a proven program that can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes among people with prediabetes. The program helps individuals lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight by increasing their physical activity and helping them eat healthier. Without intervention, people with prediabetes are likelier to develop type 2 diabetes, which is a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S.

Meeting the needs of people who have mobility limitations

In Minnesota, 37 percent of adults who have prediabetes reported having trouble walking or climbing stairs. While a prediabetes diagnosis can be an opportunity for improvement, it is more difficult for those with limited mobility.

In a nationwide study, people with prediabetes were nearly one and a half times more likely to have functional mobility limitations compared to adults similar in age who had normal blood sugar levels.

Goals of the initiative

Through this adapted version of the DPP, we hope to:

  1. Increase the awareness of risk factors around type 2 diabetes and obesity prevention.
  2. Improve collaboration among partners advocating for or serving people with disabilities.
  3. Improve data collection methods to collect data on food and physical environment policies and practices, and pedestrian data.
  4. Increase the use of inclusion strategies, resources and tools.
  5. Improve the organizational capacity to implement the adapted DPP, especially around exercise, diet and pedestrian plans.
  6. Improve the monitoring of DPP participation and outcomes and make the program more accessible.

Working together

A statewide advisory committee with various work groups supports this initiative and will address factors at five levels:

  1. Individual: Adapt the DPP to meet the needs of people with mobility limitations at VINE Faith in Action.
  2. Intrapersonal: Provide support and the chance to learn from peers and trained lifestyle coaches.
  3. Organizational: Work with VINE Faith in Action to make meals healthier in Meals on Wheels and Respite Center programs, and in food and beverage vending.
  4. Community: Test sidewalk conditions through data collection, with a focus on those with mobility limitations. Support more exercise and encourage children with mobility limitations to be more active by revising and implementing the “Walk! Bike! Fun!” program.
  5. Societal: Report progress to partners working in pedestrian planning, food accessibility and diabetes prevention.

Advisory committee member organizations

VINE Faith in Action
Blue Earth County Public Health
Region 9 Development Commission
Bike MN: Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota

Additional Resources

To learn more about the DPP visit Programs & Initiatives in Communities – Diabetes Prevention.

To learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Program curriculum adaptation for those with mobility limitations, please contact Ann Schulte at