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High-impact diabetes prevention program expands in Black communities 
By Sentinel News Service 
Published November 16, 2016

 

Black Women for Wellness (courtesy photo)

Black Women for Wellness (courtesy photo)

A dynamic program, which brings culturally competent support and resources to Black women with prediabetes, is expanding to reach even more communities. Change Your Lifestyle. Change Your Life. — or CYL2  — has sites across Los Angeles ranging from community spaces, schools, workplaces and health centers. The program combines lifestyle coaching, partnerships with sites already implementing wellness programs and a curriculum, including guest speakers and field trips.

Black Women for Wellness (BWW), along with partner organization Solera and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, will add six new sites to the program this year.

“Diabetes prevention requires support for women in our community,” said BWW Senior Manager – Programs, Administration and Operations Willie Duncan. “CYL2 offers the relevant information and resources to women in their communities across the city.”

The CYL2 diabetes prevention program is a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program based on years of research showing that a yearlong, structured lifestyle change intervention reduced the incidence of diabetes by 58 percent among adults with prediabetes, and by 71 percent among those aged 60 years or older. The multifaceted CYL2  gets buy-in and commitment from participants, requiring a year of involvement in order to guarantee that healthy habits are fully learned and maintained.

Groups meet weekly to hold each other accountable to their dietary choices and exchange insights on checking food labels, exercise and strategies for addressing prediabetes through habits and mentality. Participants give each other feedback and exchange resources like healthy recipes and information pamphlets.

Because the program is rooted within communities, participants can count on the support of their peers, colleagues and friends. One participant said, “One of my favorite things about the program is the group setting and support system that evolves from sharing common goals as well as struggles. The camaraderie with coworkers, who are looking to change their lifestyle, has been great … We share information that we come across like recipes or new ways to prepare foods; we share with each other.”

By combining data-driven standards with a program design that literally meets Black women where they already are, CYL2 models an ideal of culturally competent, community-based diabetes prevention. Even after 10 years, people who completed a diabetes prevention program like CYL2  had a 34 percent lower rate of type 2 diabetes.

Addressing other people with prediabetes, one CYL2 participant urged community members to join: “There’s other people who can walk along with you in your struggle, in what you’re going through.”

Categories: Family | Health
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