Diabetes prevention program offered by Trinity Health

The wall that many people run into while trying to improve their health is making a commitment that lasts. Be it losing weight, fighting drink or drugs, or just relearning how to live and eat “clean,” being successful takes time and effort.

And it usually involves getting some help.

Even then success is not guaranteed. Trying, failing, learning what works and what doesn’t and then trying again over and over is a pattern familiar to many of us seeking to conquer a health issue. If only somebody would stand in our corner with us between those punishing rounds when we most want to give in – and in most cases do.

That’s why the diabetes prevention program offered through Trinity Health sounds so promising. It offers a pathway to change for people whose lifestyle has them headed toward type 2 diabetes. And you don’t want to go there.

The Trinity Health Center for Diabetes Education is offering its lifestyle intervention program, Weigh 2 Change, starting with a pair of informational sessions this Tuesday.

Trinity describes Weigh 2 Change as a yearlong, evidenced-based program that helps people make positive lifestyle changes aimed at improving health and preventing type 2 diabetes. They say further, it is based on the National Diabetes Prevention Program established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and incorporates key elements recommended by the CDC, including nutritional and exercise counseling, group support, and the use of trained lifestyle coaches.

According to clinical dietitian Michelle Fundingsland, who leads the program, “The way to delay or prevent diabetes is through weight loss and increased physical activity, which are two key components in this program. It’s a one-year commitment, which might seem extensive, but our goal is to promote lasting lifestyle changes, which don’t happen overnight.”

Trinity says about 86 million people in the U.S. have prediabetes – defined by the CDC as a person with a blood sugar level higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Risk factors include being overweight, inactivity, and having a family history of diabetes. Research shows that people can lower their risk for type 2 diabetes 58% by losing 7% of their body weight and exercising moderately 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

If this program sounds like it would be helpful to you, you are invited to attend one of two free informational sessions called “Session Zero” meetings, where people learn about the program. Two Session Zero meetings will be held Tuesday at noon and again at 4 p.m. in the Trinity Health Community Conference Room at Town & Country Center.

“People who attend this session will complete a readiness-to-change questionnaire to help them determine whether the program is right for them,” Fundingsland said. “The questionnaire will ask things like – are you ready, do you have time for this, are you ready to make a change in terms of eating and physical activity?”

To participate in Weigh 2 Change, you must be at risk for – or have – prediabetes, be least 18 years of age and overweight but not currently diabetic nor pregnant.

Trinity says people who decide to commit to the program and are not covered by Medicare will be charged a fee of $220, which covers educational sessions and materials for the entire year. For more information, call the Trinity Health Center for Diabetes Education at 857-5268.

Not every community hospital has the staff or the facilities to be able to offer programs like Weight 2 Change. We in Minot are indeed fortunate that Trinity Health has both. We wish the latest participants the best of luck and encourage them to “stick with the program.”