The Gallatin City-County Health Department is offering a free 12-month online Diabetes Prevention Program.
Three Forks area residents at risk for diabetes or cardiovascular disease can sign up for the next program cohort, which begins on June 21.
According to Gallatin City-County Health Department Director of Prevention Services Kelly Keenan (MPH), the program follows the National Diabetes Prevention Program guidelines, which the CDC creates.
"Offering a free lifestyle change program for anyone at risk for diabetes is an important part of our mission at Gallatin City-County Health Department to promote and protect health and wellbeing in Gallatin County. Gallatin City-County Health Department does this by utilizing evidence-based practices grounded in sound science and effective implementation and empowering people through education and engagement to make healthy choices. The department also focuses on serving all with respect, equality, and equity. Providing these classes for free ensures that cost does not prevent anyone from accessing these important lifestyle change classes," Keenan said.
The year-long program includes 23 online classes and check-ins with a lifestyle coach.
Keenan said program participants would meet virtually each Wednesday from 12 to 1 p.m. for the first twelve weeks.
"After that, the class schedule transitions to every other week. Toward the end of the 12-month program, classes are hosted once a month. This schedule helps individuals make and sustain lifestyle changes by providing frequent support at the beginning of the program and then empowering individuals to sustain their lifestyle changes as the program progresses," Keenan said.
The program has three key components, with the first being a CDC-approved curriculum with lessons, handouts, and other resources to help individuals make healthy changes.
The second key component is a lifestyle coach Kennan said is specially trained to lead the program, help participants learn new skills, encourage them to set and meet goals, and keep them motivated. Keenan added the coach would also facilitate discussions and help make the program fun and engaging. The lifestyle coach at the Gallatin City County Health Department is also a Registered Nurse.
The third component of the program is giving participants a support group of people with similar goals and challenges.
"Together, participants can share ideas, celebrate successes, and work to overcome obstacles," Keenan said.
The research-based program focuses on helping individuals increase their physical activity to a minimum of 150 minutes per week and lose a minimum of 7% body weight.
"Research has shown that people with prediabetes who participate in a structured lifestyle change program can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% or 71% for people over 60," Keenan said.
In 2020, the CDC Behavioral Risk Surveillance System showed 6.2% of adults in Gallatin County were living with a diagnosis of diabetes. Kennan added the CDC estimates more than 1 in 3 Americans have prediabetes.
"Of those with prediabetes, more than 80% don't know they have it. Prediabetes increases an individual's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke," Keenan said.
Call or email the Gallatin City County Health Department at 406-582-31 or [email protected] to sign up for the next cohort.
Individuals are eligible for the program if:
1. All of a program's participants must be 18 years of age or older. The program is intended for adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
2. All of a program's participants must have a body mass index (BMI) of ≥25 kg/m2 (≥23 kg/m2, if Asian American).
3. All of a program's participants must be considered eligible based on either:
a. A blood test result within one year of participant enrollment. Blood test results must meet one of the following specifications:
i. Fasting glucose of 100 to 125 mg/dl;
ii. Plasma glucose of 140 to 199 mg/dl measured 2 hours after a 75 gm glucose load;
iii. HbA1C of 5.7 to 6.4; or,
iv. Clinically diagnosed gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during a previous pregnancy; or
b. A positive screening for prediabetes based on the Prediabetes Risk Test online at: https://www.cdc.gov/prediabetes/takethetest/
4. Participants cannot have a previous diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes prior to enrollment.
5. Participants cannot be pregnant at time of enrollment (it is ok if they become pregnant while completing the program).
According to the CDC, "you can have prediabetes for years but have no clear symptoms, so it often goes undetected until serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes show up. It's important to talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested if you have any of the risk factors for prediabetes, which include:
• Being overweight
• Being 45 years or older
• Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
• Being physically active less than 3 times a week
• Ever having gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
• Having polycystic ovary syndrome"
The CDC has an online test at( https://www.cdc.gov/prediabetes/takethetest/) that individuals can use to access their own price for prediabetes.