The White County Cooperative Extension Service will be offering a diabetes prevention program this fall.

Classes start Aug. 18 from 5-6 p.m. at the Duke Medical Clinic, 705 Santa Fe Drive in Searcy. Classes will meet each week through Dec. 8.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 79 million Americans age 20 years and older have prediabetes. Without intervention, 15 to 30 percent of these men and women will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

“But that doesn’t have to happen to you,” said Katie Cullum, county extension agent – family and consumer sciences with the White County Cooperative Extension Office. “This program brings to White County an effective lifestyle change program proven to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.”

Participants at high risk for type 2 diabetes will meet with trained lifestyle coach Cullum for 16 weeks and six bimonthly/monthly follow-up sessions to learn ways to incorporate healthier eating and moderate physical activity into their daily lives. Participants work with Cullum and the group to identify and overcome barriers to making sustainable lifestyle changes.

In order to qualify for the program, participants must:

Be at least 18 years old;

Be overweight (BMI of 24 or above);

Have established risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes or;

Be diagnosed with prediabetes within the past year or previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) while pregnant.

“This program is not a weight loss program; it is a lifestyle program,” a past participant said. “Going on a diet is not the treatment for diabetes or prediabetes, a lifestyle change is the treatment.”

For more information, contact Cullum at (501) 268-5394 or email kcullum@uaex.edu.

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