Telephone-based diabetes prevention program available statewide

A pilot program that offered free diabetes prevention coaching by phone on the Kenai Peninsula is available now statewide.

Through the Prevent T2 National Diabetes Prevention Program, individuals who have prediabetes will receive a digital scale, program materials and a full year of telephone support from a trained mentor.

Participants learn how to eat healthier, add physical activity to their routine, stay motivated and solve problems that get in the way of healthy changes.

“This program works,” said Leslie Shallcross, a registered dietitian with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service.

Shallcross offers a face-to-face version of the program, but  is working with Inquisit Health to promote and deliver the telephone-based version. InquisitHealth is a national provider of peer-to-peer health education that has been endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to offer this program.

Shallcross said the program helps individuals reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by more than half. The telephone-based program will allow individuals in Alaska’s larger towns and in remote communities to participate in a CDC-recognized diabetes prevention program from their home.

One in three Americans has prediabetes, with higher-than-normal blood glucose levels. Shallcross said people are more likely to have prediabetes if they are overweight, are physically active less than three times a week, or have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. She recommends that individuals take the prediabetes risk test to find out if they are at risk, at www.cdc.gov/prediabetes/ takethetest/.

The program is supported by a grant from the Alaska Diabetes Prevention and Control Program and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. For more information or to register, contact Shallcross at 907-474-2426, email lashallcross@alaska.edu or text HEALTH to 600400.