Over 10 percent of adults in Indiana have diabetes, up from about six percent back in 2000. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says research shows by doing just two things you can delay or prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes - lose a little weight and walk briskly for 150 minutes a week.
The City of Indianapolis has teamed up with the Indiana Minority Health Coalition to offer free pre-diabetes classes to city workers. It's called Change Your Lifestyle – Change Your Life and is based on the CDC's program.
Participants like Charlotte Scott weighed at the start of class – the day after the holiday.
“I went down!” Scott exclaims.
“Oh, you did?” A fellow classmate responds.
“Yes, I am very happy about that,” Scott says.
Scott found out she is pre-diabetic after a free A-1-C blood test offered by the Indiana Minority Health Coaltion and decided to take advantage of the class. Five weeks into the program, she says she feels better.
“I really have enjoyed this class. It has helped me - because I think when you do things as a group, it helps you. And even when you’re not with your group and you do things you shouldn’t do like this past weekend – I felt bad about it, you know,” she says.
Pre-diabetes prevention lifestyle coach Mashariki Jywanza says there are three main areas in the program - eating healthier, getting more exercise and learning to cope with life’s difficulities.
“Today we’re having a lesson on stress – because stress makes a lot of people eat,” she says.
The curriculum lasts 16 weeks and focuses on reading labels, buying healthier foods, getting 150 minutes of exercise a week and stress reduction. Jywanza says it's about changing lifestyles.
City employee and class participant Kimberly Kennie says she knew she had pre-diabetes and jumped at the chance to take the class.
“You know, I want to live longer. I don’t want to be sick. I want to be well. I have two sons so I want to be out there with them ... because they’re very active," she says. "So I want to be as well. I don’t want to be on the sidelines. I want to be able to enjoy and play with them.”
The Indiana Minority Health Coalition will be offering another round of pre-diabetes testing to city employees later this summer and will offer further classes.