KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 — Abbott has launched the Glucerna Lifestyle Change Program to help Malaysians with diabetes better manage their condition. The programme provides structure to help build healthy habits like good nutrition, exercise, and continuous glucose monitoring, which are important to help control type 2 diabetes and glucose management.
The number of Malaysians with diabetes is growing. It is estimated one in five adults are living with diabetes, and there may be many more who are unaware of their diabetic state.
Living with diabetes can be very challenging and can affect an individual’s quality of life and their loved ones. Adopting a positive lifestyle change, including good nutrition and exercise, can help people with diabetes handle the condition.
“Managing diabetes can be an everyday challenge and cause people to feel overwhelmed and stressed,” said Dr Nina Mazera Mohd Said, medical director for Abbott’s nutrition business in Malaysia.”
“While there are multiple factors that people with diabetes have to take into account on a daily basis, nutrition is a key component that can help them take control of their health and make a positive impact on their lives. That’s why Abbott has introduced the Glucerna Lifestyle Change Program to provide tools and resources, including dietary counselling, to help Malaysians with their diabetes management so they can live fuller, healthier lives,” she added.
Taking Control Of Diabetes Management
Led by a group of trained doctors and dietitians, the four-week lifestyle intervention program includes diabetes management through intake of a balanced diet and diabetes nutrition supplements, exercise, glucose monitoring and medication.
Participants will also learn how to cope with diabetes burnout and other challenges that derail their commitment to diabetes care. In addition, they will receive support from like-minded participants who share common goals, challenges and resources to help them better manage their diabetes.
“Lifestyle changes and balanced nutrition are pivotal to managing diabetes, but the process of changing any habit, such as physical activity or diet, does not happen overnight,” said Dr Manoharan Paranjothy, consultant in primary care and pharmaceutical medicine, and a panel doctor on Abbott’s Glucerna Lifestyle Change Program.
“While pharmacology is a critical piece of diabetes treatment, without accompanying diabetes medication with lifestyle changes, patients can be on the path of their disease progressing. Making lifestyle changes is just a matter of thinking long-term from the start and making smart choices that will lead to a healthier you,” he added.
A Promising Start
A pilot of the Glucerna Lifestyle Change Program was conducted in 2021 with a group of 40 people living with type 2 diabetes. The participants were provided with a starter kit comprising of Glucerna — the diabetes nutrition supplement, Freestyle Libre — a continuous glucose monitoring device, a resistance band, and a Glucerna Diabetes Lifestyle Guide handbook on diabetes management.
Throughout the programme, participants were supported with regular consultations with dietitians, personalised healthy meal plans, and guidance on daily fitness routines to help manage and improve their blood glucose levels within a recommended range.
“My diagnosis of diabetes came as a shock, and since then keeping my glucose levels under control has been a challenge,” said Vicky Rao, a participant of the Glucerna Lifestyle Change Program in 2021.
“However, enrolling in Abbott’s Glucerna Lifestyle Change Program last year helped me better manage my glucose levels thanks to the guidance of dietitians, which was truly a game-changer for me. In addition, the support of other participants further motivated me to adopt and commit to eating healthy and staying active. As a result, I feel more in control today, and my family fully supports my lifestyle change journey,” she added.
The overwhelmingly positive response and outcome of the inaugural pilot has prompted the programme’s return. This year, more than 70 qualified participants have passed a screening process conducted by medical experts and will be embarking on their journey to be in control of diabetes.
The Glucerna Lifestyle Change Program reflects Abbott’s longstanding commitment to helping Malaysians with type 2 diabetes live better and healthier through proper nutrition.
The programme aligns with the company’s global 2030 Sustainability Plan ambition to expand access and transform care for malnutrition, chronic diseases, and infectious diseases, improving the lives of more than three billion people every year by the decade’s end.
This initiative will also support the Ministry of Health’s efforts to reduce premature mortality due to non-communicable diseases (NCD) to 15 per cent by 2025, as outlined in the National Strategic Plan for Non-Communicable Diseases.
Abbott’s Glucerna Lifestyle Change Program is designed for participants to improve managing diabetes. As a result, they will better understand how to manage their diabetes and live healthier lives at the end of the four-week program.