Health Matters: Preventing Diabetes Before it Strikes

According to the CDC, more than 1 in 3 people have prediabetes putting you at a greater risk for developing type two diabetes.

But the national diabetes prevention program wants to change that.

The yearlong program emphasizes gradual lifestyle changes, changing many people’s lives right here in the Red River Valley.
For most of his life Scott Severson never paid attention to what he ate, until he started attending the weekly, National Diabetes Prevention Program.
“The sky is the limit maybe I wanted biscuits and gravy, maybe I wanted French toast,” says National Diabetes Prevention Program Participant, Scott Severson.
Nikki Johnson is one of the program’s teachers, helping people with prediabetes lose weight and increase their physical activity.
“A lot of the times you don’t necessarily have the tools and when you do you’re like ok, I’m going to start this diet on Monday and put these restrictions on themselves,” says Essentia Health Community Clinic Facilitator, Nikki Johnson.
Scott was pre-diabetic before the program often feeling groggy and tired.

He says the amount of sugar he was eating had something to do with it.
“Far more conscientious of watching that sugar,” says Severson.
Now, Scott’s sugar levels are significantly lower, and like most people in the program he’s never felt better.
“Stopping yourselves from not only paying thousands of dollars in medical bills that you wouldn’t need to if you were taking better care of yourself but people just feel better,” says Johnson.
“I wish it was a continual thing that you would stay in but at some point one has to be responsible for themselves,” says Severson.
The class emphasizes long lasting life changes, and because of that, many participants continue to have success even after the last class.
“We would never promote, oh you’re going to lose ten pounds by three weeks in. We don’t want to see that. Everything is going to be really slow and gradual,” says Johnson.
But with these slow and gradual changes, your health also changes, and once many of those people experience the benefits, that change isn’t worth giving up.
The National Diabetes Prevention Program helps people make lasting changes across the country.

In fact, the last class for Essential Health’s program is tonight.

The program will start back up in the fall.