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Suffolk County Offers Free Diabetes Prevention Program to Coincide with National Diabetes Month

Categories: Health Services | Author: gknutson | Posted: 11/9/2017 | Views: 3165

Making modest changes in lifestyle may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.


Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Health Services Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken invite residents who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes to participate in the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). The program, which has proven to reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes significantly, is free of charge to Suffolk County residents who meet criteria.


“We seek to reverse in Suffolk County the nationwide trend toward increased rates of diabetes. This program addresses the behaviors that contribute to diabetes, a disease that exacts enormous costs to the individual, the family and the community,” said Executive Bellone.


“Diabetes puts people at risk for many serious health conditions,” said Dr. Tomarken. “The good news is that individuals can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes with minor lifestyle changes.”


The National Diabetes Prevention Program is based on a research study led by the National Institutes of Health. The DPP showed that people at risk for developing diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes by losing a modest amount of weight through diet and exercise. DPP participants in the lifestyle intervention group reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent during the study. Lifestyle changes worked particularly well for participants aged 60 and older, reducing their risk by 71 percent.


According to the American Diabetes Association, those at risk for diabetes include adults who are overweight or obese and have one or more additional risk factors for diabetes. Risk factors for prediabetes and diabetes -- in addition to being overweight or obese or being age 45 or older --include the following:

  • being physically inactive
  • having a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
  • having a family background that is African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander
  • giving birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds or being diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy
  • having high blood pressure or being treated for high blood pressure
  • having HDL, or "good," cholesterol below 35 mg/dL, or a triglyceride level above 250 mg/dL
  • having polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS
  • having impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) on previous testing
  • having other conditions associated with insulin resistance
  • having a history of cardiovascular disease


The Diabetes Prevention Program meets one hour per week for 16 weeks, followed by at least six monthly follow-up sessions. The sessions cover healthy eating, physical activity, and lifestyle changes to help participants achieve the goals that lead to the prevention or delay of a diabetes diagnosis. Participants work with a trained lifestyle coach in a group setting.


Pre-registration for the Diabetes Prevention Program is required. Registration remains open for each class until the second session.



Dates: November 29, December 6, 13, 20; January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; February 7, 14, 21, 28; March 7, 14,  2017

Time: 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Location: HRHCare Health Center at Riverhead

300 Center Dr. South, Riverhead, NY 11901

Contact: Janis 631-853-3187 to reserve your seat

For more information visit our website:  or call the Suffolk County Office of Health Education at 631-853-3162.


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