Seven percent of New Mexico's adults 18 or older have been told by health professionals that they are pre-diabetic or are at high risk for type 2 diabetes, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.
New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service is partnering with Molina Healthcare to provide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Diabetes Prevention Program to help participants adopt healthy lifestyle habits.
The evidence-based, lifestyle intervention program featuring curriculum based on clinical research and presented by trained lifestyle coaches will be offered in Dona Ana and Bernalillo counties beginning in July.
"If a person has a family member with diabetes, it is not inevitable that they will get diabetes if they work to turn around their eating and exercise habits," said Lucinda Banegas-Carreon, NMSU coordinator of the program. "With the information and encouragement provided by our lifestyle coaches, we hope the participants in the program will have the tools to make the necessary steps to delay or prevent diabetes."
Participants will attend 16 weekly coaching sessions focused on healthy eating, physical activity, and stress reduction, followed by six monthly maintenance sessions. The lifestyle coaches will help lead the supportive group setting that consists of 20 participants per class.
"We are offering tools and information that can be shared and utilized throughout a family," Banegas-Carreon said. "Topics of the weekly sessions will include using MyPlate guidelines for a nutritional meal, understanding the information on food labels and the correlation between fats and cholesterol."
To qualify for the program the participants must be at least 18 years old, be overweight, and meet one or more of the following criteria:
• Fasting blood glucose 100 to 125 mg/dl
• Two-hour glucose range 140 to 199 mg/dl
• HbA1c between 5.7 and 6.4
• History of gestational diabetes.
"Participants will either be referred by their doctor, or may apply personally," Banegas-Carreon said. "Those not referred by their doctor will answer a group of screening questions asked by our lifestyle coaches."
Classes will be available in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Chaparral starting in July. For more information about the program or class registration, call 575-646-2034 or 1-877-993-3637.
The National Diabetes Prevention Program is part of a cooperative agreement between CDC and the America's Health Insurance Plans. AHIP is working with four member health plans - Molina Healthcare, Aetna, EmblemHealth and Florida Blue - to implement the program in New Mexico, Florida, New York and Texas.
For more information about the National Diabetes Prevention Plan, visit www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention.