Success Stories > “Some Things You Can’t Undo. Prediabetes You Can.”
Success Stories > “Some Things You Can’t Undo. Prediabetes You Can.”

“Some Things You Can’t Undo. Prediabetes You Can.”


The South Dakota Department of Health – Diabetes Program (SD DOH) developed a prediabetes awareness campaign called “Undo the Risk”, which included a quiz to help users determine their risk for prediabetes. Those at high risk received information about prediabetes, its dangers, and steps they can take to undo their risk for prediabetes. Resources and tips were available on the website about how to “Undo the Risk” of prediabetes.

Prediabetes means a person’s blood glucose (sugar) level is higher than normal, but not high enough yet for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. There are some prediabetes risks you cannot control, like age and family history. But there are small things you can do to reduce your risk, such as increasing your physical activity and adjusting your diet. These small actions can also help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.


Prediabetes puts people at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Approximately 88 million American adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, more than 84% do not know they have it. Prediabetes is a disease that can be reversed with lifestyle changes. It is important to get the word out and delay the onset of diabetes.

With the many public health campaigns people see each day, it is challenging to break through the clutter and deliver a compelling message that motivates the viewer to take action towards a healthier life. The campaign advertisements need to be unique and entertaining with a clear and easy call to action.

Key Components

The SD DOH partnered with Media One, an advertising and marketing firm, to create a strategic campaign targeting people ages 45-65 throughout South Dakota. The digital component allowed for the use of other lifestyle risk factors, such as fitness, weight, and race to closely target the desired audience.

They reviewed the efficacy of campaigns from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Diabetes Association (ADA). Next, they created cohesive messaging that provided additional exposure without additional costs.

Certain populations and rural communities are difficult to reach; therefore, the SD DOH utilized targeted Facebook and digital ads to reach those groups and geographical locations. For example, to help reach the Hispanic population, which is at higher risk for developing prediabetes, the quiz was translated into Spanish.


As of February 2021, more than 4,100 people have taken the risk test, and 42% of those individuals learned they are at high risk for prediabetes. Data gathered from the quiz provided insight into the lifestyle and demographics of each person including age, race, gender, blood pressure, physical activity, family history of diabetes, and whether they had gestational diabetes. This information helped the SD DOH identify commonalities for individuals who are at risk for prediabetes in South Dakota.

The success of this campaign is a result of strategic messaging that incorporated a blend of humor into real life situations that most people can relate to. The creative messaging was engaging, effective, and proved that important public health messages can be communicated in other ways than using scare tactics.

Seldom, campaigns can clearly monitor audience engagement, but this campaign was structured to successfully engage with the audience. It was rewarding that these messages educated thousands of South Dakotans about their risk for diabetes and how to ‘undo their risk’ through lifestyle changes. This campaign is another step toward a healthier South Dakota.

“We were honored to partner with the Diabetes Program to create messaging for a very important health crisis that is happening in our country and South Dakota. Prediabetes can be undone with a game plan – that’s a message that needs to be continually shared to create a healthier state.” – Media One

The full campaign can be viewed at


March 2019

Developed scripts and advertisement ideas

July/August 2019

Produced creative content and materials for the campaign.

Fall 2019

Launched website, television commercials, and social media advertisements to coincide with National Diabetes Awareness month in November 2019. Advertisements ran from October 2019 through December 2019, then ran again Spring 2020.

Fall 2020

Additional digital media and television advertisements ran in November 2020 during National Diabetes Month.

Evidence-Based Interventions

The mass media campaign included a quiz to identify a person’s risk for prediabetes. Based on the level of risk determined, the quiz results also provided recommendations to undo the risk of developing diabetes, such as talking to a healthcare provider, joining the National Diabetes Prevention Program, and making evidence-based lifestyle changes that combine diet and physical activity.

Combined Diet and Physical Activity Promotion Programs to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Among People at Increased Risk – Recommended Intervention (Strong Evidence):

Diabetes: Combined Diet and Physical Activity | The Community Guide


Kayla Magee, RN, Diabetes Program Coordinator

Office of Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion
South Dakota Department of Health