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McLean County launches lifestyle program to reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes

McLean County Health Department Front St.
Eric Stock
The McLean County Health Department reported three more COVID-related deaths on Friday.

The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) is encouraging people at high risk of diabetes to sign up for a new program that encourages lifestyle changes.

The department offers PreventT2, a a free one-year program where people periodically meet with a lifestyle coach and with other participants to work on reducing risk factors through healthier choices.

“One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater,” said Kim Anderson, MCHD director of maternal child Health services. “The PreventT2 program offers a proven approach to preventing or delaying the onset of Type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”

Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal.

MCHD health promotion specialist Tyanna Powell said a majority of people who have prediabetes don’t know it and invention makes it for more likely for to avoid diabetes.

Tyanna Powell
McLean County Health Department
Tyanna Powell

“Don’t be forced to make the choice, just make the choice. Make the choice, not only for you but for those around you. For those who you live for, those that you love, that you value,” Powell said. “Make the choice to be better.”

She said small lifestyle changes over time can make a big difference in reducing health risks.

“Most people develop unhealthy habits over time, so it will take time to develop healthier habits,” Powell said. “But it can be done, and PreventT2 participants make those lasting changes together.”

PreventT2 is part of a program run the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Data show people with prediabetes who lose 5% to 7% of their body weight reduce their risk of diabetes by 58%. The risk drops 78% for people over 60.

The program is available to people who are at greater risk of diabetes. They have to show proof of a recent blood test that shows high blood-sugar levels. Those at greater risk include people who are: age 45 or older; are overweight; have a family history of Type 2 diabetes; have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy or gave birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds; African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, or Asian American, according to MCHD.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the CDC.

Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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