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Grady County residents preventing type 2 diabetes with effective program

Join other Prevent T2 participants in learning how to make healthy changes

CAIRO—Community members are preventing type 2 diabetes together with the Prevent T2 lifestyle change program offered by Grady County Health Department. Guided by a lifestyle coach, groups of participants are learning the skills they need to make lasting changes such as losing a modest amount of weight and being more physically active.
“People with prediabetes — higher-than-normal blood glucose (sugar) levels — are five to 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels. In fact, many people with prediabetes can be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within five years, said Grady County Health Department Nurse Manager Peggy Connell.
“One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater,” Connell said. “The PreventT2 program offers an effective program to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”
Participants learn how to eat healthy, add 150 minutes of physical activity per week to their routine, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. PreventT2 groups meet for a year — weekly for the first 6 months, then once or twice a month for the second 6 months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes, explained the manager of the program for Southwest Health District, Epidemiologist Jacqueline Jenkins.
“The program’s group setting provides a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes,” Jenkins said. “Together participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.”
PreventT2 is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). PreventT2 is based on research that showed that people with prediabetes who lost 5 to 7 percent of their body weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) by making modest changes reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
“Nationwide implementation of the program could greatly reduce future cases of type 2 diabetes, a serious condition that can lead to health problems including heart attack; stroke; blindness; kidney failure; or loss of toes, feet, or legs,” Jenkins said.
“Small changes can add up to a big difference,” added Connell. “Working with a trained lifestyle coach who provides guidance, Prevent T2 participants are making lasting changes together.”
People are more likely to have prediabetes and type 2 diabetes if they:
• Are 45 years of age or older
• Are overweight
• Have a family history of type 2 diabetes
• Are physically active fewer than three times per week
• Have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
To learn about participating in the Prevent T2 program, contact the Grady County Health Department at 229-377-2992.

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