This article summarizes the diabetes context, the opportunities offered by the Care4Diabetes program and its current status in Belgium.

The prevalence of diabetes in Belgium has shown a consistent increase since 2007, according to recent data [1]. Specifically, 7.1% of the population has received a confirmed diagnosis, with regional disparities noted: 8.6% in Wallonia, 6.3% in Brussels, and 6.4% in Flanders [1]. Additionally, an estimated 4% of the population may have diabetes without knowing it [2], bringing the overall prevalence to around 11%.

It is clear that the current situation calls on government for much stronger and comprehensive chronic disease prevention policies. In addition, the importance of implementing lifestyle medicine programs needs to be recognized, especially since the introduction of GLP-1RA and SGLT2i drugs in the management of type 2 diabetes. The most recent data point to possible weight gain after discontinuation of these drugs [3,4], underlining the importance of not relying solely on pharmacological solutions, but actively encouraging individuals to adopt and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Besides, despite the prevalence of individual care sessions in Belgium, group sessions remain largely underutilized. The Care4Diabetes joint action presents an opportunity to address this gap through its program, drawing inspiration from the Dutch initiative “Keer Diabetes2 Om” of Voeding Leeft. This initiative relies on a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to care, fostering mutual support and the exchange of experiences among peers.

Following a year of thorough context analysis, team selection, and professional training, the program officially commenced in Belgium mid-January 2024. The first group will conclude in December 2024. A second group will start in parallel in October 2024, incorporating feedback from the stakeholders, teams and participants of the first group, in order to continually improve the program. This European will to perfecting the program is a real strength, as it increases recruitment and adherence to the program, and reinforces its effectiveness.

The first results for Belgium are expected at the end of July.

Picture of the trained professionals

1.  IMA Atlas – Atlas AIM – Nouveau Available online: (accessed on 29 January 2024).

2. Heyden, V. der Enquête de Santé par Examen Belge 2018 Available online: (accessed on 29 January 2024).

3. Aronne, L.J.; Sattar, N.; Horn, D.B.; Bays, H.E.; Wharton, S.; Lin, W.-Y.; Ahmad, N.N.; Zhang, S.; Liao, R.; Bunck, M.C.; et al. Continued Treatment With Tirzepatide for Maintenance of Weight Reduction in Adults With Obesity: The SURMOUNT-4 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA 2024, 331, 38–48, doi:10.1001/jama.2023.24945.

4. Wilding, J.P.H.; Batterham, R.L.; Davies, M.; Van Gaal, L.F.; Kandler, K.; Konakli, K.; Lingvay, I.; McGowan, B.M.; Oral, T.K.; Rosenstock, J.; et al. Weight Regain and Cardiometabolic Effects after Withdrawal of Semaglutide: The STEP 1 Trial Extension. Diabetes Obes. Metab. 2022, 24, 1553–1564, doi:10.1111/dom.14725.