McLean County launches diabetes prevention program

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — After a long day most of us want to grab a quick bite to eat, for some, that means fast food.

But that convenience could put you at risk for diabetes, an illness that could cause heart disease, nerve, and kidney damage or impaired vision.

A new program at the McLean County Health Department hopes to help you stay healthy.

“We’re actually providing tools and resources for our community residents to be aware of obesity and also the ways they can prevent being diabetic,” said Dion McNeil, communications specialist, McLean County.

PreventT2 is a program to help people with prediabetes reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

“We try to figure out some lifestyle changing techniques identifying those and implementing them into this program which lasts about a year-long,” said McNeil. “By 2050 if we don’t start making changes some things to our health we’re looking at about 1 in 3 people being diabetic.”

32% of people in McLean county are obese, which is a risk factor for prediabetes. Leaders in the program are helping community members prevent obesity, which Shanell Shulz with OSF Healthcare says is key to stopping the trend.

“It’s really important that we talk nutrition especially at a young age because if kids understand what foods will bring up their blood sugar and which ones won’t it can really help set up their future to be a healthy one,” said Shulz who is a diabetes educator at OSF.

In addition to nutrition tips, the program teaches exercises that you can do in the comfort of your home. All geared toward preventing the illness from progressing.

“The sooner we can catch diabetes even in the prediabetes stage the longer we can prolong things from progressing to diabetes,” said Shulz.

The next round of the program starts Feb 19. at 5:30 p.m. at the McLean County Health Department.

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