The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is a lifestyle change program dedicated to preventing type 2 diabetes through a series of 24 one-hour group classes.

Combined with individual sessions with a trained lifestyle coach, DPP gives participants the information and tools necessary to maintain a healthy weight, prepare simple and healthy meals and find time to be physically active. DPP classes will begin at Haywood County Health & Human Services on Sept. 5.

The program will be taught by Joanne Rinker, MS, RD, CDE, LDN, FAADE.

“We are pleased to offer a program proven to work among local residents,” said Megan Hauser, public health education specialist.

When asked about the program, a past participant said, “My A1C has come down to normal. Weight loss has been 22 pounds and will be able to maintain my health benefits by what was learned in this program.”

The rates of diabetes in North Carolina have almost doubled over the last 20 years, and type 2 diabetes is now the seventh leading cause of death in North Carolina. Complications from diabetes can lead to other health issues, including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, glaucoma and loss of vision, amputation of limbs and more.

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being over the age of 45, being overweight or obese and being physically inactive. Lifestyle changes can impact these risk factors and greatly reduce the likelihood of the disease developing.

Anyone interested in participating in DPP can contact Megan Hauser at 828-356-2272. Clinicians are also welcome to refer patients who are either at risk or have been diagnosed with pre‐diabetes to join DPP.

Classes will be held at Haywood County HHSA on Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. starting on Sept. 5. Thanks to a grant administered by NC State University, the classes are free. The class will also offer incentives, such as yoga mats, resistance bands and cookbooks.

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