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Reduce Diabetes Risk By Participating In Free Prevention Program

By Kevin Watler, P.I.O.

January 26, 2018

A diabetes prevention program to help those who would like to reduce the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes is being offered. Many places charge for this program, but the Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Hillsborough County is offering the National Diabetes Prevention program for free to help combat the growing health threat of obesity. Trained lifestyle coaches guide participants to form healthy habits and achieve weight loss.

Those who complete the program can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes by losing five to seven percent of their weight. For a 200-pound person, that is approximately ten to 14 pounds. The program runs for one year. For the first four months, the class will meet weekly for one hour. During months five and six, the class meets biweekly. Classes then meet once a month for the last six months.

On Jan. 31 at 6 p.m., the first class will begin at the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, located at 405 Beverly Blvd in Brandon. The second class begins on Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. at the United Food Bank of Pant City, located at 702 E. Alsobrook St., Suite H in Plant City. Classes are limited to approximately 15 participants. Based on demand, other classes will be offered throughout the year. Residents who are interested in the diabetes prevention program should call (813) 307-8015 ext. 7111.

To qualify for the program, a person must be overweight and at risk of developing diabetes. Many factors increase the risk for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes:

  • Being 45 years of age or older.
  • Having a family member with diabetes.
  • Having a family background of African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American-Indian, Asian-American, or Pacific-Islander.
  • Having had diabetes while being pregnant (gestational diabetes), or having given birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more.
  • Being physically active less than three times a week.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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