New VA Pilot Program To Target Veterans With Type 2 Diabetes

According to a recent report by Minnesota’s Public Radio, about one-fourth of the nation’s veterans have type 2 diabetes. Recently the Veterans Administration unveiled a 16-week pilot program aimed at reducing that statistic.

The program, which is designed for obese or overweight individuals with pre-diabetic symptoms, is expected to be implemented at VA medical centers across the country.  The focus is three-fold:  to help people increase exercise, improve eating habits and lose weight.

Previously tested at YMCA’s in St. Paul and Indianapolis, it reduced the diabetes rate among participants by 58 percent.

Jon Soder, a Vietnam veteran with diabetes, told Minnesota Public Radio that the pilot program helped him lose 85 pounds and enabled him to both regain the strength needed to walk unassisted and to reduce his medicine intake.

The cost of the program is $300—a wise and affordable measure when you consider the average medical costs for a person with diabetes runs about $6,200 a year.

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