The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

Group Lifestyle Balance diabetes prevention program offered free for faculty, staff through UPMC health care

UPMC+Presbyterian+Hospital+complex+on+Fifth+Avenue.+
TPN File Photo
UPMC Presbyterian Hospital complex on Fifth Avenue.

Pitt is now enrolling for the spring 2024 semester’s free diabetes prevention program, Group Lifestyle Balance. 

GLB is a free semester-long diabetes prevention program for Pitt faculty and staff offered through the UPMC health plan. The curriculum, which is a part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, focuses on building long-term healthy habits and weight loss through personal coaching. 

According to the program syllabus, the goals of the Group Lifestyle Program are “to achieve and maintain a 7% weight loss from a participant’s baseline and to achieve 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity per week in an effort to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and improve cardiovascular health.”

Natalie Capozzolo, a pharmacist with UPMC and the director of GLB, started the program in September 2020 and said the participants of the program meet with her once a week to form healthy meal and exercise plans, as well as to voice their emotions toward progress or challenges within the program.

“I also have a group channel where everybody in the class can post things that they think are interesting to them,” Capozzolo said. “Maybe just a funny quote or meme or something to motivate people.”

Capozzolo said she hopes the GLB program can be a resource for Pitt faculty and staff that they don’t have to worry about paying for, as well as a preventative measure for individuals who are at risk for Type 2 diabetes. 

“I think that there isn’t as much of an awareness about what is available to people, and they think about benefits they think about paid time off, disability pay, all these different things, but they don’t think as much about these smaller details,” Capozzolo said. 

A study done by the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group at Pitt has shown that the Diabetes Prevention Program “lowered participants’ risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58% compared to those who received a placebo in the study.”

One GLP participant vocalized the long-term effects that their participation has had on their health, praising the program’s emphasis on building healthy lifestyle habits. 

“I would like to share that the program unquestionably changed — and very likely prolonged — my life,” the participant said. “I’m healthier, happier and so much more knowledgeable about the role of food and exercise in my life.”

Another participant reflected on the skills that they’ve learned from the program in managing their health and diabetes risk. 

“This program has been helpful in so many ways, but most importantly, how mindful I must be in making choices in my eating and exercise behaviors. I’ve learned so much and am looking forward to the rest of the program and my continued weight loss,” the participant said. 

A third participant agreed and said they thought the program was successful because it was geared specifically toward diabetes prevention, giving its patients long-term skills to lead a healthy lifestyle.

“I’ve worked with trainers and health care professionals in the past, but I’ve never felt the same level of care or support,” the participant said. 

Capozzolo said she is looking to expand the GLB program to Pitt’s regional campuses such as Bradford and Johnstown in the hopes of extending support to staff who could benefit from the program.

“I want to reach as many individuals that are at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes as is possible within our university population. And I think getting the word out about the program is really important,” Capozzolo said. 

About the Contributor
Abby Lipold, Assistant News Editor
Abby Lipold is the Assistant News Editor for the News Desk. She is an English Nonfiction Writing major and is pursuing a BPhil in International and Area Studies. She has been writing for The Pitt News since January 2022. You can contact Abby at [email protected].