Diet fads come and go, and often leave people worse off than they were when they started – especially in their relationship with food and overall health. Hundreds of Utahns have been changing their lifestyles — and reversing their prediabetes diagnoses — through the unique CDC-accredited national diabetes prevention program, Weigh to Health.
The Weigh to Health diabetes prevention program is designed to teach healthy eating habits that can ultimately help participants develop a healthy relationship with food.
“Too often, people develop an all-or-nothing mindset around eating, which is not the most helpful way to improve healthy habits for the long run,” said Karlee Adams, registered dietitian nutritionist with Intermountain Healthcare. “Over-restricting one’s diet, and trying to follow an unrealistic eating pattern is unsustainable and can lead to guilt or shame around eating as a result. But it doesn’t have to be this way.”
Weigh to Health helps participants learn how to have long-lasting healthy habits and learn how to enjoy all foods in moderation. It uses evidence-based methods to help adults boost physical activity, improve nutrition, and address several weight-related health conditions — primarily, prediabetes.
The yearlong, personalized program includes one-on-one visits and small classes, and is facilitated by registered dietitian nutritionists. Courses include guest speakers, exercise basics, cooking skills and stress management.
Participants learn what they need to do to make a lifestyle change to improve their prediabetes diagnosis and their health and wellbeing long-term. This includes an emphasis on balanced nutrition along with physical activity to prevent or reverse prediabetes and some of its risk factors.
About 1 in 3 adults nationwide have prediabetes, but about 90 percent of them don’t realize it, Adams said. Rather than wait for Type 2 diabetes to develop, Adams recommends people experiencing the following risk factors ask their provider if they need a blood-sugar test:
45 years or older
A parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes
Physically active less than three times a week
History of diabetes during pregnancy or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
Polycystic ovary syndrome
African American, Latinx, American Indian, Pacific Islander, or Asian American ethnicity
Overweight or obese.
To sign up for a free information session and learn more about Weigh to Health, visit intermountainhealthcare.org/weightohealth.