Community members are preventing type 2 diabetes together with the Prevent T2 lifestyle change program offered by Virginia Cooperative Extension. Guided by a trained Extension 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 five to 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels. In fact, many people with prediabetes will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within five years.
One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater. 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. Extension’s PreventT2 groups meet for a year — weekly for the first few months, then once or twice a month for the remainder of the year 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.
PreventT2 is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 2020 class will begin with two open house/informational sessions on Thursday, January 16th or Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. at Stuart United Methodist Church, lower level. These sessions will introduce the class content for the year. Those interested should plan to attend one of these sessions.
PreventT2 is based on research that showed that people with prediabetes who lost five to seven 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 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.
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.
To participate in the PreventT2 program, you should be 18 years or older, have prediabetes or a history of gestational diabetes, be overweight, and be ready to make changes to your lifestyle to lose weight and improve your health. To learn more about the program, please contact Terri Alt, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent at 276-694-3341.
If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, contact Terri Alt at email@example.com or 276-694-3341 TDD (800) 828-1120 during the business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations no later than five days prior to the event.
Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.