Two year-long programs will be offered beginning in 2020 for individuals with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

These free programs, the latest interventions for Baylor Scott & White Health, will help people make lasting changes to prevent complications related to diabetes.

Information meetings for the class for diagnosed diabetics will be 3:30 p.m. Jan. 9 and Jan. 16 at Temple Community Clinic, 1905 Curtis B. Elliot Drive, Temple.

The information meetings for individuals diagnosed with higher than normal blood sugars will be 9:30-10 a.m. Jan. 7 and Jan. 14 at Sammons Community Center, 2220 W. Ave. D, Temple.

Research has shown that people with prediabetes can cut their risks of developing type 2 diabetes in half by losing 7 percent of their body weight and increasing physical activity, such as walking, to 150 minutes a week. Those with type 2 diabetes can cut the risk of developing complications by losing 7 percent of their body weight and increasing physical activity.

“The diabetes prevention programs inaugural group yielded weight loss of over 200 pounds for the 12 participants,” said Sara Laack, diabetes educator at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Temple. “They have reported increased confidence in the ability to make better food choices and to live a healthier lifestyle.”

The new diabetes class is to take the same lessons in the diabetes prevention program and help people who have already received the type 2 diabetes diagnoses, Laack said. The goal is to change their lifestyle and hopefully reduce their hemoglobin A1C, their medication load and complications related to diabetes.

Class members will learn the skills needed to lose weight, be more physically active and manage stress. The class will offer support to stay motivated and solve problems that may get in the way of making change, and support from other participants with the same goals.

“We’re trying to intervene before people enter the stage where they are on medications,” Laack said. “Even if they are pre-diabetic and on Metformin there are steps they can take to mitigate further complications with diabetes.”

Diabetes dramatically increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease with chest pain, heart attack, stroke and narrowing of arteries.

Offering a structured program that focuses on obesity and activity is one way to get ahead of the diagnosis, she said.

Participants in the nationally recognized lifestyle change program will learn more about the benefits of being in the program, according to the National Diabetes Prevention Program. Those in the classes get a full year of support and learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated and solve problems that can get in the way of goals. This program is proven to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

For information, call Laack at 254-724-3827 or email Sara.Laack@BSWHealth.org.