Space available in free diabetes prevention program

- Space is still available in a free diabetes prevention program to help those who would like to reduce the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes begins May 24, according to its organizers.

The first class will begin at 10 a.m. May 24 at the Department of Health - Hillsborough Floyd Kelton Clinic, located at 4704-B W Montgomery Ave in Tampa.

A Spanish-only class begins at 2 p.m. on June 13 at the WellCare Health Plans Center, located at 8328 N Florida Ave in Tampa.

The Florida DOH in Hillsborough County is offering the National Diabetes Prevention program for free to help combat the growing health threat of obesity. Trained lifestyle coaches guide participants to form healthy habits and achieve weight loss.

Based on demand, other classes will be offered throughout the year. Residents who are interested in the diabetes prevention program may call (813) 307-8015 ext. 7111 or email programinfo@flhealth.gov

Those who complete the program can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes by losing five to seven percent of their weight.

For a 200-pound person, that is approximately ten to 14 pounds.

Groups meet for 26 sessions and work with a trained lifestyle coach. Participants will get to practice skills of healthy eating and physical activity for a sustained healthy lifestyle change.

To qualify for the program, a person must be overweight and at risk of developing diabetes. Many factors increase the risk of pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes:

- Being 45 years of age or older.

- Having a family member with diabetes.

- Having a family background of African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American-Indian, Asian-American, or Pacific-Islander.

- Having had diabetes while being pregnant (gestational diabetes), or having given birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more.

- Being physically active less than three times a week.

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