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Free diabetes prevention courses begin Feb. 11

Mon Health Medical Center is providing community members a free diabetes prevention course series.

The 24-class series will begin Feb. 11. Classes will be from noon-1 p.m. Tuesdays at the Mon Health Medical Center Hazel Ruby McQuain Conference Center.

West Virginia has the second highest rate of diabetes in adults in the nation — roughly 15% of West Virginians — according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

The program offers education and support to individuals at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Participants will learn to adapt and maintain healthy lifestyle habits including proper nutrition, increased physical activity and moderate weight loss.

Research demonstrates that modest lifestyle changes can lead to a 5-7% reduction in weight, while maintaining weight-loss may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 58%.

Individuals must qualify for the program to participate. Requirements include a pre-diabetes diagnosis from a health care provider. An individual at high-risk for developing diabetes will also meet participation qualifications. A combination of risk factors put a person at risk, including being over the age of 65, family history, being overweight or obese, gestational diabetes and inactivity.

“The aim of this course is to educate and empower those at risk of developing diabetes,” said Andrea McCarty, diabetes education coordinator at Mon Health Medical Center. “Various factors may increase the risk of an individual developing diabetes, some of which are out of his or her control. The education sessions will provide participants with the proper knowledge to combat risk factors that can be monitored to decrease the likelihood of the development of diabetes.”

Pre-registration is required by calling 304-598-1805.