A trial funded by Aotearoa’s largest life insurer, AIA New Zealand, has found significant positive results from a lifestyle medicine program aimed at improving health outcomes for those impacted by type 2 diabetes. The program uses evidence-based therapeutic lifestyle interventions to treat chronic conditions.
The program was developed by PREKURE, an organisation focused on preventative lifestyle medicine. It found that 100% of participants who elected to share data in a 12-week trial achieved reduced blood sugar levels through PREKURE’s diabetes program. Half of the respondents also achieved a clinically significant reduction in their blood sugar levels. The trial involved AIA NZ’s group of customers who were managing type 2 diabetes or who are pre-diabetic.
PREKURE chief science officer Grant Schofield said that diabetes diagnoses are on the rise, putting a strain on New Zealand’s healthcare system. However, he said that significant health improvements can be achieved with diet and lifestyle changes.
“Approximately one in 20 New Zealanders have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. By 2040, this is projected to almost double to one in 10. This is undoubtedly going to impose a huge burden both on our health system and Kiwi families,” Schofield said.
PREKURE’s 12-week trial is centred on disease prevention through lifestyle medicine, Schofield said. During the trial, participants were equipped with achievable diet changes, one on one health coaching, and group health coaching sessions to keep them focused and on track towards their goals.
“Seeing all participants report a reduced blood sugar level, which is a key diabetes indicator, compared to when they started the trial was incredible,” he said. “Participants also lost an average of 5kgs in excess body weight throughout the trial, which was another fantastic outcome, demonstrating the dedication they had to the programme.”
Schofield added that all those who participated in PREKURE’s trial are now better equipped to self-manage their diabetes or help reverse their pre-diabetes diagnosis altogether.
“We’re proud to support a programme which is really making a difference. We’ve already witnessed the transformative effect it’s having on the lives of everyday New Zealanders,” said Len Elikhis (pictured above), AIA NZ chief product and investments officer.
Acknowledging that hearing the news that they are pre-diabetic or being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is a wake-up call for many, Elikhis said that the PREKURE program was life-changing. He also said that it is fortunate that there is strong international evidence that metabolic conditions like diabetes can be improved or reversed through nutrition.
“With the help of the PREKURE’s nutritional science and preventative healthcare approach and also AIA Vitality, our science-backed health and wellbeing programme, we’ve heard incredible stories of people beating their diagnosis and taking steps to live healthier, longer, better Lives,” Elikhis said.
As part of its plans to completely change the way its customers look at life and health insurance, AIA NZ also debuted a new brand campaign that reframes its life and health insurance products from protection to action.
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