Insurance package available for people living with type 2 diabetes in the Netherlands
Barbara Kerstens, Director at Voeding Leeft ‘Nutrition Lives’, said: “Because this does not address the main underlying problem, an unhealthy lifestyle, more medication is often needed in the long run. This is not a sustainable solution.”
The foundation developed the RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment)-recognised 'Reverse Diabetes2 Now' lifestyle program to focus on pre-diabetes and diabetes patients.
Studies have shown that lifestyle plays an important role in both the development and progression of type 2 diabetes and that lifestyle adjustments can influence the condition in such a way that medication can be reduced or even become completely unnecessary.
Early figures from the programme found that 67% of participants took less diabetes medication two years after the start of the programme and 28% even stopped completely.
The Reverse Diabetes2 Now programme helps pre-diabetes and diabetes patients learn what works for them in terms of eating, exercise, relaxation and sleep.
This happens in a group and under the supervision of a nurse, a dietitian and a coach. The program ensures a significant improvement in quality of life and an average weight loss of 7kg. Since 2014, more than 5,000 people have participated in the programme.
The programme is backed by the Dutch Institute for Public Health and the Environment and the Dutch Diabetes Foundation.
Diena Halbertsma, Director of the Dutch Diabetes Foundation, said: “With a growing number of people with type 2 diabetes, we are heading towards a diabetes crisis. Things must change: from less medication to more healthy living, that is the only sustainable solution. We are pleased that the lifestyle treatment Reverse Diabetes2 Now from Voeding Leeft ‘Nutrition Lives’ is becoming more widely available to a large group of people with type 2 diabetes.”
While the programme is initially intended for the Netherlands, as part of the European Care4Diabetes project, training is underway in 12 European Union countries to run pilots of the benefit from January next year.
Following the UK’s departure from the European Union the programme will not be available in this country. The project was selected as a best practice by the European Union and a grant has been awarded to 12 countries (Spain, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovenia, Finland, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, Malta) for the pilots.
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