A new health program is set to change the health futures of people in the South West including Bunbury, Busselton and Harvey.
This month Diabetes WA launched Let’s Prevent, a free health program for adults at risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Based on the philosophy that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to managing health, Let’s Prevent is designed to equip participants with practical information and skills that will help them decide how they want to improve their lifestyle, and by how much. The ultimate goal of this program is to help participants avoid or delay one of the three most common chronic conditions.
“This isn’t a weight loss program, or an exercise program,” said Deb Schofield, Diabetes WA General Manager of Health Services. “This is a health program that supports people to make small, positive changes to their lifestyle that will make a big difference to their health in the future.”
In Harvey for example, it is estimated that 86% of the population have at least one of the four main health behaviours that increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease or stroke. These behaviours include smoking, consuming an unhealthy amount of alcohol, being obese or engaging in little to no physical activity.
“Often people know that they need to make a change, but they don’t know what to change, or by how much. This program will help people to get started by supporting them in identifying changes they can commit to and sustain,” said Mrs Schofield.
The program – which is being run by Diabetes WA in Australia for the first time – is based on an international program, which has been shown to be very effective.
Studies of the international program have shown that participants experience improvements in metabolic health, cholesterol levels, psychological wellbeing and health behaviours. They also experience a 26% reduction in their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Bunbury resident Rosalie Roberts was one of the first to sign up for the program. She described the initial workshop as informative, easy to understand and practical.
“It has motivated me to make changes for my future health,” Rosalie said.
Let’s Prevent is now running in Bunbury, Busselton and Harvey.