The National Diabetes Prevention Program called Prevent T2 (type 2 diabetes), led by lifestyle coach Kim Jacobs, is in full swing at Blue Mountain Hospital in John Day.
Jacobs said Prevent T2, recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is creating positive changes for people, teaching a healthier lifestyle.
“With this program, you’ll learn, laugh and share stories,” said Jacobs, who is also a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the hospital.
Participants also try new things, overcome obstacles and build new habits while lowering their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. They learn how to eat well, get active, shop, cook, manage stress, stay motivated and more, Jacobs said.
The year-long class starts out with weekly meetings for four months, progressing to monthly gatherings. The current class began in October 2016, and another class will begin when there are enough referrals.
Jacobs said she teaches the group how to adapt to a healthy lifestyle, lowering risks associated with diabetes including blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke and loss of toes, feet or legs.
“It’s not a diet, but learning how to live a healthy life — how to eat healthy, how to be physically active,” she said. “I truly believe this year-long program helps change people’s lives.”
She said, without weight loss and moderate physical activity, 15 to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within five years.
Prediabetes means a person’s blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not yet diabetes.
“If you do discover that you have a diagnosis of prediabetes, participating in programs such as Prevent T2 may help you cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half,” Jacobs said.
And that’s the good news.
Research shows doing two things can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes: losing 5 to 7 percent body weight and getting at least 150 minutes each week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking.
“A year might sound like a long commitment, but learning new habits, gaining new skills and building confidence takes time,” Jacobs said. “As a lifestyle coach, I will help you set and meet goals and keep you motivated.”
For more information, call Jacobs at Blue Mountain Hospital at 541-575-1311.