By Michilea Patterson, The Mercury
POTTSTOWN >> Penn State Extension is inviting people to pull up a chair and learn how to dine healthy with a diabetes program that starts Monday.
The Dining with Diabetes series is a nationally accredited program done in a five-week session. Participants will help prepare and sample healthy recipes. By the end of the program, every person will receive a Dining with Diabetes Cookbook, exercise DVD and a placemat that displays how to divide your plate for meals.
Participants will attend several classes where they will exercise, watch healthy meal preparations and learn more about diabetes-related medical issues. The cost for the entire five week session is $25. The Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, 1600 E. High St., will host a session starting Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The session will be held in the Charles Donovan Boardroom on the ground level of the hospital. The following classes will be held on Oct. 13, Oct. 31, Nov. 7, and Nov. 14 with a follow-up class on Jan. 9. Pre-registration is requested to determine the size of the class.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that causes the glucose, or sugar, levels in the body to rise higher than normal. About 29 million Americans have diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association.
“Today, diabetes takes more lives than AIDS and breast cancer combined; claiming the life of one American every three minutes,” according to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. “It is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, amputations, heart failure and stroke.”
From previous sessions, Penn State Extension has found that about half of the participants experienced a drop in their blood glucose levels and about 59 percent of people lowered their blood pressure. Participants also increased their daily physical activity as well as their fruit and vegetable consumption.
Dining with Diabetes is for any adult interested in learning how to manage the disease. The program is opened to people with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes as well as the family members or caregivers of those diagnosed.
The classes are offered as a low-cost opportunity to the local community through a Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation grant. The classes would normally be about $200.
The dining series is part of a university study and data is collected for research. The study is used to determine if diabetes programs help those diagnosed better manage the disease. Each participant will have their blood pressure and glucose levels checked every class to monitor progress.
To register, contact Penn State Extension at 610-489-4315 or register online at extension.psu.edu/health/diabetes/events/.