ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Community members are preventing Type 2 diabetes together with the Prevent T2 lifestyle change program offered by Southwest Health District.
Lifestyle coaches teach skills people need to make lasting changes, like 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," said District Epidemiologist Jacqueline Jenkins. "In fact, many people with prediabetes can be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within five years."
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 weekly for the first 6 months, then once or twice a month for the second 6 months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes, explained Jenkins.
"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.
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 Southwest Health District at 229-352-4275.