The public sector plays an important role in (a) supporting healthy lifestyles among Americans that may prevent type 2 diabetes, (b) advancing research on how to prevent diabetes, and (c) supporting efforts to translate research to practice. Action steps that can be taken by state, federal, and tribal governments include the following:
- Review and design policies that optimize strategies to address diabetes at all stages.
- Partner with communities and other entities to create environments that encourage healthy lifestyles and habits (e.g., collaborate with communities to develop walking trails and parks where people can exercise safely) and implement initiatives.
- Disseminate information about the importance of healthy lifestyles to prevent diabetes. Tailor these messages to be meaningful to people of all ages, and cultural, socio-economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds.
- Support research on the effectiveness of different interventions to prevent diabetes.
- Conduct surveillance activities to measure progress toward achieving public health goals.
- Create an evidence base of effective strategies for preventing diabetes.
- Intensify prevention efforts among Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, and other population groups who disproportionately suffer diabetes and its complications.55
- Motivate government employees to adopt healthy lifestyles, thereby serving as a model to other employers.
- Foster interagency collaboration at federal, state, and tribal levels to promote healthy lifestyles in order to reduce the risks for diabetes.
55 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1991) Diabetes surveillance system Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/survl99/chap1/conclusion.htm.