Type 2 diabetes continues to be one of the most serious diseases that affects Americans of color disproportionately, but the good news is that it’s also one of the most preventable. That’s why the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), a federally funded program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently created Small Steps, Big Rewards, billed as the first-ever national multicultural diabetes prevention campaign designed specifically to reach diverse populations that have the highest risk of developing the disease.
The campaign’s message is one that nurses are already familiar with: By taking “small steps” (e.g., losing a modest amount of weight by eating healthier and getting 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week), people with pre-diabetes can empower themselves to get the “big reward” of delaying or preventing the onset of the disease. And because nurses can play such a key role in educating patients about taking control of their health, NDEP has armed the campaign with a full arsenal of prevention education resources for you to use in your community.
The Small Steps, Big Rewards campaign consists of five sets of culturally sensitive prevention materials, each tailored to a specific high-risk population:
- More Than 50 Ways to Prevent Diabetes (for African Americans)
- Prevengamos la diabetes tipo 2. Paso a Paso (for Hispanics/Latinos; materials available in English and Spanish)
- We Have the Power to Prevent Diabetes (for American Indians/Alaska Natives)
- Two Reasons to Prevent Diabetes: My Future and Theirs (for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders; available in English, Chinese and several other Asian languages)
- It’s Not Too Late to Prevent Diabetes (for adults aged 60 and older).
For each of these population-specific “mini campaigns,” resources available to nurses include:
- Public service advertisements and press releases for promoting Small Steps, Big Rewards in your local media
- A “GAME PLAN” toolkit that includes the latest research findings on diabetes prevention, tips for counseling patients about weight loss, and patient education materials
- Patient “GAME PLAN” materials—including tip sheets, fact sheets, food and exercise trackers, and fat and calorie counters—to help them get started on their weight loss program and stick with it
- A speaker’s kit and slide show presentation that can be used to conduct diabetes prevention outreach programs in your community.
Nurses can obtain free copies of the Small Step, Big Rewards campaign materials by calling (800) 438-5383 or downloading them from http://www.ndep.nih.gov/campaigns/SmallSteps/SmallSteps_index.htm.
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