Cutting edge program will target diabetes in Steuben CountyPosted on 4/12/2012
The Steuben Rural Health Network has announced a new initiative for diabetes prevention in Steuben County. The Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coaches is a 16-week, evidence-based program open to anyone with a blood glucose level in the pre-diabetic range, or with risk factors for developing type II diabetes.
According to local health officials, the program began as a study and was only recently converted into a curriculum that could be used in community-based organizations. “This cutting edge program aims to help participants lose 7 percent of their body weight through increased physical activity and mindful eating,” program coordinators said in a news released.
Participants determine their appropriate caloric intake each week, and track their food in a food tracker to help them stay on target. Physical activity is also tracked, and participants weigh in each week to monitor their progress and stay on target. Participants will not be charged for the program. According to the Centers for Disease Control, studies have shown that people with prediabetes who lose weight and increase their physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and in some cases return their blood glucose levels to normal.
While there is a strong genetic link to developing type 2 diabetes, excessive weight and inactivity are also believed to be play an important role. Steuben County residents have been impacted by diabetes significantly, according to state health officials. The New York State Department of Health's most recent report (2007-9) shows that about 8 in 100 adults in Steuben County have diabetes right now. This does not include those with pre-diabetic risk factors, or the undiagnosed. Over three years, there were 59 deaths in Steuben directly attributable to diabetes, with county’s rate of deaths by diabetes slightly exceeding the state average.
The increased national push for preventive health care offers three major advantages, according to Kevin Williams, director of project planning for the Institute for Human Services, Inc., which oversees the Rural Health Network.
1. Prevention-based efforts allow people to become more active in their own health and well being.
2. Prevention programs save money by intervening before the full-blow disease develops.
3. Prevention programs can be overseen by lay people who have extensive training, but are not necessarily licensed physicians.
These are important considerations, because after adjusting for population age and sex differences, average medical expenditures among people with diagnosed diabetes were 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes, according to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet.
The Steuben County Department of Health and the Steuben Rural Health Network will offer this program in two sites to be determined in Steuben County during 2012. Officials said the sites will be publicized when they are selected. For more information, contact the Rural Health Network at 607-776-9467