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Free Diabetes Prevention Classes Underway in Twin Ports Area

January 11, 2017 11:32 AM

Classes to help Northlanders lose weight and prevent type 2 diabetes are underway in the Twin Ports area. 

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The Diabetes Prevention Program is normally $429, but is being offered for free thanks to a group of community partners working with Healthy Northland.

Duluth YMCA Health & Wellness Coordinator Alisha Bradley joined us Wednesday on GMN for the details, along with Corinne Scott, a graduate of the Diabetes Prevention Program in Duluth. 

The program is intended for folks who already have prediabetes. Bradley says one in three Americans has prediabetes, and most don't even know it. 

"You have the blood glucose levels that are above what's considered to be healthy, but not quite to the point of being diabetic," she explained. "It's a growing thing in our country, and especially in our Northland area."

Prediabetes is completely reversible with a healthy lifestyle. Bradley says the Diabetes Prevention Program can introduce new habits to reverse the process and prevent diabetes. It's a one-year program where participants meet once a week for 16 weeks, followed by a monthly meeting for the remainder of the year.

"I loved it," Scott said of her experience in the program. "We met every week and we had a trainer who taught us healthy eating as far as diabetes, and lifestyle changes."

Scott was prediabetic before the class, with a blood sugar level of 105 mg/dL. In order to reverse prediabetes, experts recommend losing seven percent of your body weight. 

"That happened with me," she said. "I dropped down to 95 [mg/dL] for a blood sugar, and have maintained that, so total I lost more than the seven percent. I lost 52 pounds."

Scott credits counting calories and fat grams for making the program work. She recommends anyone with prediabetes give the program a try. 

"You have that support and encouragement from other people who are going through the same thing," she said.

The main risk factors for prediabetes are being over the age of 45 and overweight, with a high prevalence of diabetes in your family. You can learn if you have prediabetes by taking a short quiz here or by talking to your doctor.

Diabetes Prevention Program classes are listed below. 

Duluth classes

• Mondays: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Downtown Duluth YMCA

• Wednesdays: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Harbor Highlands Community Center

• Wednesdays beginning Jan. 18: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Lincoln Park Children and Families Collaborative

• Tuesdays beginning Jan. 31: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Gary New Duluth Recreation Center

To register, visit duluthymca.org or contact Alisha Bradley at (218) 722-4745 ext. 135 or ABradley@duluthymca.org.

Proctor Class

• Thursdays beginning Jan. 19: Noon at Proctor Community Center.

To register contact Kaisha Graham, U of MN Extension SNAP-Ed Educator, 218-726-6478 or klgraham@umn.edu.

Superior classes

• Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Superior YMCA

• Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Superior Chamber of Commerce office


WDIO

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