ST. CLOUD -- Diabetes is a problem for many Americans, but the precursor, pre-diabetes is preventable and can actually be reversed.

Around 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes, but nine out of ten don’t even know it. With that in mind, the Centers for Disease Control started the Diabetes Prevention Program.

For the third year, this year-long lifestyle coaching workshop is coming to St. Cloud. Paula Woischke is the healthy aging coordinator with the Central Minnesota Council on Aging. She says the program was developed to help people who have or are at risk for getting pre-diabetes.

Typically it’s for people that are overweight ‘cause that’s usually probably the highest risk for people that are pre-diabetic. Honestly, they say the statistics are two out of three adults in Minnesota are overweight and out of that, those people are the ones that are more likely to become diabetic.

Other at-risk groups include older people and those with a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

The program includes group support, expert coaches, weekly weigh-ins, and food trackers.

Woischke says all of the coaches are nursing students at St. Ben’s and St. John’s.

It’s been a great fit for them to be able to learn more about prevention versus always dealing with what I call sick care and more about the well care of doing the prevention side of things, and also giving them the coaching skills and how to work with individuals as well, so it’s a great win-win.

If you join the program, expect to lose approximately five to seven percent of your body weight, improve your food choices, and increase your physical activity.

It's free to join, but donations are accepted. It all kicks off on Monday at various locations including the Whitney Senior Center, and Centracare Health Plaza.

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