Monday, September 27, 2010

Dining with Diabetes

Penn State Cooperative Extension is offering a low-cost class, “Dining with Diabetes: A Program for Adults with Diabetes and their Families,” to teach those with type 2 diabetes and/or pre-diabetes how to manage their condition. The classes are offered in a social and interactive setting. Franklin County has a rapidly increasing incidence of diabetes, according to the 2008-2009 Community Health Needs Assessment conducted by Summit Health, and this program will help educate Franklin County residents at risk for or experiencing type 2 diabetes.

The low cost program includes: five classes, blood tests to measure the participant’s risk for diabetes complications, recipes, exercise DVD, educational materials, pedometers and stretch bands. Each class, taught by a Registered Dietitian, offers food demonstrations, mild physical activity and class discussion. Lab tests to measure hemoglobin A1C, and other measures of diabetic control will be done as part of the class. The fee includes all educational materials, lab tests and food taste tests. “We want participants to know their numbers to help them manage their diabetes, and also to learn in a fun and engaging class setting,” said Rayna Cooper, extension educator and Registered Dietitian, who manages the program in the region. The total cost for the 5 classes is $35 for an individual or $50 if the individual decides to bring a family member. An extra incentive to participate in the program in Franklin County is that those participants or families completing the final class will be given a gift card for $20 to use in a local grocery store.

The class location will be the Franklin County Ag Heritage Building in Chambersburg. The first four classes will be held on Tuesdays from 1:00 to 3:30 pm beginning on October 12, 2010, with a follow-up class on January 11, 2011. The instructor for the course will be Nancy Routch, RD, LDN. Nancy is a Registered Dietitian and a consultant for Penn State Cooperative Extension. Scholarships are available for those needing assistance with the course fee. For information on registering for the Franklin County program, contact Rayna Cooper at the Adams County Extension office at (717) 334-6271 or email The “Dining with Diabetes” program in Franklin County is made possible by a grant from Summit Endowment, with additional funding from the USDA and a grant from the PA Department of Health. Penn State also partners with Joslin Diabetes Center, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

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