Area Residents Preventing Type 2 Diabetes with Proven Program

January 6, 2016

January 12 McMinn Senior Activity Center in Athens noon – 1 p.m.
January 14  Meigs Senior Senter in Decatur 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
February 4 UT Extension Office in Athens 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
February 25 Niota Library 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Community members are preventing type 2 diabetes together with the Pathway Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change intervention offered by Starr Regional Medical Center, McMinn Living Well and Meigs County Health Council. Guided by a trained lifestyle coach, groups of participants are learning the skills they need to make lasting changes such as losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active, and managing stress.

People with prediabetes — higher-than-normal blood glucose (sugar) levels — are 5 to 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels. In fact, many people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 3 years if they do not take steps to prevent it.

“One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater,” said McMinn County Lifestyle Coach and Starr Regional’s Director of Community Wellness Joy Daniels, MS, RD/LDN, CDE. “Participants in this class are able to learn proven methods to prevent or delay 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 physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. Pathway groups meet weekly for the first 16 weeks, then once a month for a total of 12 months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes. The program’s group setting provides a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.

Pathway Diabetes Prevention Program is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The program will hold meetings in Athens, Niota and Decatur. Contact Joy Daniels at 423-744-3249 or Brittany Kirkland, Meigs County Lifestyle Coach at 423-745-7431.

Pathway 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 by 58 percent.

Nationwide implementation of the program could save the U.S. health care system $5.7 billion and prevent about 885,000 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.

“Small changes can add up to a big difference,” added Kirkland. “Working with a trained lifestyle coach who provides guidance, Pathway 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; or
  • Have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.