Kids with diabetes

Diabetes has been identified as a pressing issue in Teton County. A new free program helps participants focus on weight loss and a healthier lifestyle to lower their risk for the disease.

Thanks to funding from the Wyoming Department of Health, people at risk for Type 2 diabetes can now enroll in a free program to lower that risk.

The program, called #PreventDiabetes, focuses on weight loss as a means of living a healthier lifestyle. Those who enroll in the year-long, at-home program will receive exercise and meal plans, along with educational videos and app-based coaching.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recognized #PreventDiabetes as an “evidence-based lifestyle change program,” according to a health department media release.

“Our goal is to help ensure making healthy choices can be easy for Wyoming residents,” Amber Nolte, Chronic Disease Prevention Program manager for the Health Department, said in the release.

In order to qualify, Wyoming residents must demonstrate risk of developing Type 2 diabetes based on family history, age, or health factors such as weight, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

Those with elevated blood glucose levels may also be at risk of developing prediabetes, which can lead to Type 2, as well as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and loss of toes, feet or legs.

“Unfortunately, most people with prediabetes don’t realize it so we want to help them learn if they are at risk and then give them the tools to do something about it,” Nolte added.

To screen for prediabetes, you can go to the CDC website at: www.cdc.gov/prediabetes/risktest.

About 35,000 people in Wyoming have been told they have prediabetes, Nolte said.

In Teton County, diabetes has been identified as a pressing issue, particularly in the Latino population, in multiple health needs assessments and improvement plans. The community has worked to provide increased diabetic screenings as a result.

To sign up for the free prevention program, visit preventdiabeteswyoming.incentahealth.com or call St. John’s Health at (307) 739-7678 for local information.

Contact Evan Robinson-Johnson at 732-5901 or ERJ@jhnewsandguide.com.

Evan Robinson-Johnson covers issues residents face on a daily basis, from smoky skies to housing insecurity. Originally from New England, he has settled in east Jackson and avoids crowds by rollerblading through the alleyways.

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