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Livongo’s Digital Diabetes Prevention Program Leads to Weight Loss

Updated: 8/14/21 12:00 amPublished: 8/17/20
By Karena Yan

By Karena Yan and Katie Mahoney

In exciting news for digital diabetes prevention programs, a new study showed that highly engaged participants – those who more frequently engaged in food logging, lessons, and physical activity – were more likely to lose weight

In a study of more than 2,000 adults at risk for type 2 diabetes, Livongo’s digital Diabetes Prevention Program led to an average weight loss of 5.1% (about 10 pounds) after one year using the program. Furthermore, the “highly engaged” participants who completed at least 12 of the program’s lessons (which was around one-third of the people in the study) saw an average weight loss of 6.6% (about 13 pounds).

Livongo’s diabetes prevention program first launched in 2017. It offers interactive lessons on weight, food, and activity monitoring. The program is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an effective diabetes prevention program (DPP). It provides a blood glucose meter, unlimited glucose test strips, and an activity tracker. Participants can also use Livongo’s smartphone app to access 24/7 coaching from certified diabetes care and education specialists (CDCES), to log their meals, and to join an online community.

Overall, more than 50% of highly engaged (and even 35% of minimally engaged) participants achieved more than 5% weight loss after 12 months. Twenty-five percent of highly engaged participants lost more than 10% of their initial body weight (see the chart below for more results). The study also showed that 150 weekly minutes of physical activity, food logging, and engaging in lessons were all associated with weight loss.

Although interacting with the CDCES coach was not strongly associated with weight loss, participants who exchanged an additional message with their coach each week for the first six months of the program were 32% more likely to be highly engaged – and therefore more likely to lose more weight – than those who did not message their coach. This underscores the importance of education for preventing type 2 diabetes.

It is known that DPPs bring significant benefits to people at risk of type 2 diabetes, by reducing their chances of developing it. However, DPPs are not widely used – more than 1,520 CDC-recognized programs are “active,” yet fewer than 1 in 40 eligible adults in the US participates in DPPs. While Livongo’s digital DPP increases access to the program and is equally as effective as in-person DPPs, work needs to be done to enroll more people who are at risk for type 2 diabetes or who have type 2 diabetes.

To learn more about prediabetes, click here. Interested in a diabetes prevention program? Ask your healthcare team if it can refer you to a virtual program or to a local program in your area.

[Image source: Livongo]

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About the authors

Karena Yan joined the diaTribe Foundation in 2019 after graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelors in Biology and Global Health and Environment. As an undergrad, she... Read the full bio »