N D E P logo - link to National Diabetes Education Program   National Diabetes Education Program
ndep.nih.gov campaigns

Small Steps. Big Rewards.
Prevent type 2 diabetes


What is the Small Steps. Big Rewards. Prevent type 2 Diabetes campaign? ^ top

Millions of Americans are at high risk for diabetes, a serious and costly disease that has reached epidemic proportions in the past 10 years. The good news: diabetes can be prevented. To get this important information to those at risk, the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) has created the Small Steps. Big Rewards. Prevent type 2 Diabetes campaign.

The NDEP has created campaign messages and materials for people at risk for diabetes, including those at high risk: African Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Native Americans and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and older adults. In addition, the NDEP and its partners are promoting diabetes prevention to health care providers to give them the information and tools to help their patients take small steps to prevent the disease.

What is the science behind the campaign? ^ top

The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a landmark study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, found that people at increased risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight through increased physical activity and a reduced fat and lower calorie diet.

In the DPP, modest weight loss proved effective in preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes in all groups at high risk for the disease. That is why the Department of Health and Human Services' NDEP is mobilizing its partners at the national, state, and local levels to promote the DPP's findings.

What is the campaign's message? ^ top

Small Steps: If you have pre-diabetes (higher than normal blood glucose levels but not yet diabetes), you only need to lose a modest amount of weight - for example, 10 to 15 pounds for a 200-pound person - to prevent type 2 diabetes. You can do it by building up to 30 minutes of physical activity a day 5 days a week and following a low-calorie, low-fat eating plan.

Big Rewards: Preventing type 2 diabetes means peace of mind and a healthier and longer life without serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations.

How is the campaign reaching high risk audiences? ^ top

To reach audiences at highest risk for diabetes, the NDEP has created the following targeted messages:

What are the campaign components? ^ top

  • Public service advertising campaign - Television, radio, and print public service ads increase awareness about diabetes prevention. Radio and print ads are tailored for each high risk group.

  • Publicity campaign - Small Steps. Big Rewards. events in cities across the country will promote successful community-based weight loss and lifestyle change programs. Plus there are ready-to-tailor news releases and feature articles for partners to promote the campaign in their local media outlets.

  • Health care provider's "GAME PLAN" toolkit - This toolkit translates the latest research findings about diabetes prevention, provides practical tips for patient counseling about weight loss, and includes information and educational posters and booklets to use with patients.

  • Consumer "GAME PLAN" materials - These booklets give people at risk everything they need to get started on their weight loss program and to stick with it. In addition, there are specially tailored motivational tip sheets for older adults and for ethnically diverse audiences (in English, Spanish, and 15 Asian and Pacific Islander languages).

How can organizations participate in the Small Steps. Big Rewards. campaign? ^ top

Tap into the NDEP's diabetes prevention materials and use them in your organization's activities and programs. You can download the Small Steps. Big Rewards. campaign components from this website.

All materials are copyright-free and may be reproduced and distributed without permission. Consumers, health care providers, and others can obtain free copies of the Small Steps. Big Rewards. materials by calling the NDEP's toll-free number (1-800-438-5383) or by downloading them from this website.


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