Giant Food customers are learning to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes using the retailer’s PreventT2 lifestyle change program offered in eight of its stores across D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Guided by in-store nutritionists serving as lifestyle coaches, groups of participants are learning the skills they need to make lasting changes, such as eating better, losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active and managing stress.
“One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater,” said Lisa Coleman, lead nutritionist. “The PreventT2 program offers a proven approach to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”
Participants learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. PreventT2 groups meet for a year—weekly for the first six months, then once or twice a month for the second six months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes. Giant Food says the program’s group setting provides a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.
PreventT2 is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the CDC. The local program is free and has enrolled more than 100 customers in the first classes. Giant Food and higi, a network of retail-based self-screening health stations, have partnered to help customers utilize the higi stations to track and monitor their progress between sessions with the in-store nutritionists.
“People need to realize the important role that food plays in overall health, and how food choices can have a major impact. Giant’s registered dietitians can do a lot to educate their shoppers and prepare them to make the better food choices. The infrastructure higi offers with its in-store screening stations is a major bonus for our participants. The stations offer a private weigh-in option, available any time they visit our stores, as well as blood pressure measurement and tracking for various other health metrics” said Khan Siddiqui, M.D., chief medical and technology officer for higi.
A local community member enrolled in the program describing her experience thus far said, “The program has gone well for me so far. The nutritionist’s energy is encouraging, and I love that I can ask questions. The information in the group settings has encouraged me to make better decisions, and as of today, higi showed me I’m down four pounds since starting the program. I’m excited about the weeks to come and learning more ways to reduce my risk of diabetes!”
PreventT2 is based on research showing that people with prediabetes who lost 5 to 7 percent of their body weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) by making modest changes reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.
People are more likely to have prediabetes and type 2 diabetes if they: are 45 years of age or older; are overweight; have a family history of type 2 diabetes; are physically active fewer than three times per week; or have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
Giant Food of Landover, Maryland, operates 167 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and D.C., and employs approximately 20,000 associates.
Founded in 2012, higi owns and operates what it says is the largest FDA-cleared self-screening health station network in the U.S. with nearly 11,000 stations located in food, drug and mass market retailers.
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