The National DPP → National DPP Overview


National Diabetes Prevention Program Overview


Research has shown that investing in type 2 diabetes prevention can slow or prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in adults with prediabetes or who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes—resulting in reduced costs and healthier populations. As defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “a person with prediabetes has a blood sugar level higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. He or she is at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems, including heart disease and stroke.”

To address this problem, CDC established the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP), which is a partnership of public and private organizations that provide the framework for type 2 diabetes prevention efforts in the U.S. One component of the National DPP is the National DPP lifestyle change program. This program is founded on the science of the Diabetes Prevention Program research study and several translation studies that followed.


To learn more, the CDC website provides comprehensive information and resources on the National Diabetes Prevention Program.

The CDC recently launched a new Customer Service Center to provide organizations easy access to information and resources about prediabetes and the National DPP. Organizations can access training materials, toolkits, and videos; ask questions; and receive technical assistance related to all aspects of the program.

CDC has developed an Implementation Guide for CDC Recognized DPP programs to use when working with commercial payers. To see this guide, click here.


Prevalence of Prediabetes


An estimated 88 million US adults—greater than 1 in 3 adults in the US—have prediabetes. With prediabetes, blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes. People with prediabetes are at high risk for type 2 diabetes (the most common type of diabetes), heart disease, and stroke.

For more information, or statistics on the prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes in your state, see: CDC’s Interactive Diabetes Data and Statistics, the State Burden Toolkit, the 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report, and the American Diabetes Association Statistics by State Fact Sheets.



The National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP)

To better address the growing problems of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, Congress authorized the CDC to establish the National DPP, a public-private initiative that provides the framework for type 2 diabetes prevention efforts in the United States.

Key partners include:

  • Federal agencies
  • State and local health departments
  • National and community organizations
  • Employers
  • Public and private insurers
  • State employee health programs
  • Health care professionals
  • University community education programs
  • Businesses that focus on wellness



CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program (DPRP)

To ensure high quality and impact, CDC sets standards for organizations that wish to offer a lifestyle change program. CDC’s DPRP plays a critical role in assuring that organizations can effectively deliver the evidence-based lifestyle change program with quality and fidelity. To achieve CDC recognition, organizations must provide evidence that they are following a CDC-approved curriculum and achieving meaningful results with patients based on established national standards.

For more information, see Implementing a Lifestyle Change Program and Standards for CDC Recognition.



CDC-Recognized Organizations

The National DPP lifestyle change program is offered through CDC-recognized organizations. These are organizations that have received full, pending, or preliminary recognition from the CDC’s DPRP. CDC-recognized organizations can deliver the program in person, online, through distance learning (e.g., remote classroom or telehealth), or through a combination approach.

CDC-recognized organizations are comprised of a variety of different organization types, including community-based organizations, hospitals, provider groups, pharmacies, health plans, and other organizations. A registry of recognized organizations is provided here. For a map of the United States showing publicly available in-person National DPP lifestyle change program class locations, click here. To find a program near you, click here.



The National DPP Lifestyle Change Program

The National DPP lifestyle change program is an evidence-based program focused on helping participants make positive lifestyle changes such as eating healthier, reducing stress, and getting more physical activity.

Research shows that people with prediabetes who take part in this structured lifestyle change program can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% (71% for people over 60 years old). This is the result of the program helping people lose 5% to 7% of their body weight through healthier eating and 150 minutes of physical activity a week. For a person who weighs 200 pounds, 5% to 7% of their body weight is equivalent to 10 to 14 pounds.

  • It is a year-long program that is delivered in person, online, or through a combination approach. The program includes at least 16 weekly sessions during the first 6 months and at least 6 monthly sessions during the second 6 months.
  • The program is taught by trained lifestyle coaches. Coaches can be health professionals or non-licensed personnel.
  • The program includes group support (recommended group size ranges between 10 and 25 participants, online groups may be larger).
  • CDC-recognized organizations offering the program can use a curriculum developed by CDC, can develop their own curriculum and submit it to CDC for approval, or can receive permission to use another organization’s curriculum as long as it is CDC approved.
  • The newly developed CDC curriculum (PreventT2) is available in both English and Spanish. The Spanish version is culturally adapted. You can also find translated curriculum here.
  • There are thousands of CDC-recognized organizations across the 50 states and D.C. To find a program near you, click here.

For more information, see the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program and Research-Based Prevention Program.

To hear from program participants, click here.



Target Population

The National DPP lifestyle change program is designed for people 18 years or older who have prediabetes or who are at risk for type 2 diabetes, but who do not already have type 2 diabetes.

To be eligible for referral to the National DPP lifestyle change program, individuals must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old, and
  • Be overweight (body mass index ≥25; ≥23 if Asian), and
  • Have no previous diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and
  • Have a blood test result in the prediabetes range within the past year:
    • Hemoglobin A1C: 5.7%–6.4%, or
    • Fasting plasma glucose: 100–125 mg/dL, or
    • Two-hour plasma glucose (after a 75 gm glucose load): 140–199 mg/dL, or
  • Be previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes, or
  • Score 5 or higher on the CDC/ADA Prediabetes Risk Test
Could You Have Prediabetes? Take the Risk Test

Note: Studies of type 2 diabetes prevention lifestyle programs have not included children; these programs are intended for adults at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle programs for type 2 diabetes prevention emphasize weight loss and are not appropriate for women who are currently pregnant. Participants who become pregnant may continue at the discretion of the lifestyle program provider.

To be eligible for the National DPP lifestyle change program, individuals must have one of the blood test results described above, be previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes, or score 5 or higher on the CDC/ADA Prediabetes Risk Test. The CDC Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program (DPRP) standards require that at least 35% of a program’s participants be diagnosed with prediabetes through blood testing (or have a history of gestational diabetes). The remaining participants in the group can be considered eligible for the program based on their scores on the CDC/ADA Prediabetes Risk Test. The CDC/ADA Prediabetes Risk Test is a brief seven question survey that allows one to gauge their risk of having prediabetes. Regularly scheduled biometric screenings may be an opportunity to determine if an individual is eligible.

Content last updated: June 26, 2020