penn highlands elk to offer prediabetes lifestyle change program
Kelly Schreiber-Straub, RD, LDN, CDE, clinical nutrition manager/certified diabetes educator, posts a flyer for PreventT2.

Penn Highlands Elk to Offer Prediabetes Lifestyle Change Program

Penn Highlands Elk has been awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to offer “PreventT2,” a proven program to help participants prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, one in three American adults has prediabetes. Without weight loss or moderate physical activity, many of them can develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

The PreventT2 lifestyle change program can help those with prediabetes make lasting changes to prevent type 2 diabetes, according to Kelly Schreiber-Straub, RD, LDN, CDE, clinical nutrition manager/certified diabetes educator, PH Elk.

“The need for prevention in our community has never been greater,” Schreiber-Straub said. “This program will offer participants a real chance to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by adopting a healthier lifestyle.”

PreventT2 is a year-long program. Thanks to the $7,500 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the program is free to participants. The first meeting will be held on Jan. 23, from 5–6 p.m. at PH Elk. Meetings will continue every Tuesday, from 5–6 p.m. for the first six months, then once or twice a month for the second six months to help participants maintain healthy lifestyle changes.

Participants will work in a group with a trained lifestyle-coach to learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their lives, manage stress, stay motivated and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes, Schreiber-Straub said.

“We truly appreciate the grant funding we received from the Pennsylvania Department of Health,” Schreiber-Straub said. “Our goal is to give people the tools they need to live healthier, longer lives.”

PreventT2 is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program led by the CDC and is proven to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. The program is based on research that found people with prediabetes can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half by losing 5–7 percent of their body weight. That is about 10–14 pounds for a person weighing 200 pounds.

Diabetes is a disorder that occurs when the blood glucose levels are too high. They fluctuate based on diet, exercise, weight and other factors. Diabetes not only affects the blood but also the organs of the body. This leads to a higher amount of heart disease and stroke for diabetes patients, Schreiber-Straub said.

People with prediabetes — higher-than-normal blood glucose levels — are five to 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels.

According to the CDC, you may have prediabetes and be at risk for type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Are 45 or older;
  • Are overweight;
  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes;
  • Are physically active fewer than three times per week;
  • Ever had diabetes while pregnant – known as gestational diabetes – or gave birth to a baby that weighed more than nine pounds.

To be eligible for the program, individuals must be age 18 or older with no previous diagnosis of diabetes. The person should be overweight and have a blood test result in the prediabetes range within the past year or be previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

To register for the program or learn more, call Schreiber-Straub at 814-788-8517.