Main Line Health hopes new interactive program will prevent new cases of diabetes

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Diabetes is a major health problem and Philadelphia has the highest prevalence of America's top 10 cities. But a local health system hopes a new interactive program will prevent many new cases.

Every week, Main Line Health dietitian and certified life coach Ashley McCorkle leads sessions for Prevent T2, a CDC-recognized program to prevent pre-diabetes from turning into Diabetes 2.

Pre-diabetes means you have higher blood sugar than normal, plus risk factors for diabetes 2, such as extra weight or obesity, high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.

Other risk factors include being Black, Hispanic, Native American, or Asian American or you are 45 years or older.

Donna Bucciero tried to get her weight and cholesterol in line before, but her 63rd birthday became the turning point.

"If you continue the path, your daughter is going to be responsible for taking care of you and your husband. And that's unfair to her," she said.

During the yearlong program, McCorkle helps students through dietary changes, such as portion control.

"We're going to try to eyeball a measurement and see what we get," she said.

But she also goes beyond nutrition.
"Physical activity, stress management, coping with different challenges," added McCorckle.

The goal is to make small changes that add up to big, long-lasting ones.

"It may be a slow process, but there's a reason and it works," said McCorkle.

"I've had some difficulties trying to keep my food log," admitted Bucciero.

Bucciero says suggestions and support from McCorkle, and the whole group, help her through rough patches. And while she's still honing her diet, she's made big strides in being more active.

"I'm branching out and doing things physically that I didn't think I was capable of," she said. "I feel empowered and I feel healthier."

For more on the Prevent T2 program at Main Line Health, CLICK HERE.
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