Increasing diabetes education in rural Pennsylvania

Project: Research project

Project Details


NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the way the body uses food for energy. When an individual has diabetes their pancreas is either unable to make enough insulin or it does not use insulin properly. Diabetes is a lifelong disease that causes many complications and is very costly to treat. In Pennyslvania, an estimated 878,000 adults age 18 and over (9% of the population) have been diagnosed with diabetes. The number of hospitalizations rose from 201.3 per 10,000 in 2000 to 226.2 per 10,000 in 2008. Complications and death can be prevented, delayed, or effectively treated with regular doctor visits, appropriate monitoring and medication, and a healthy diet and lifestyle. About 50% of adults with diabetes have attended a diabetes self-management class, over 35% are physically inactive, more than 85% are overweight or obese and more than 65% have high blood pressure.The Dining with Diabetes program is an evidence-based program that has proven that community education emphasizing A1C and blood pressure, consumption of fruits and vegetables, and increasing physical activity can be achieved by individuals at risk for diabetes. According to the CDC, research indicates that improved control of LDL blood lipidscan reduce cardio-vascular complications by 20-50%. Controlling blood pressure can also reduce cardiovascular disease by 33-50%. For every 10mmHg reduced in systolic blood pressure, diabetes related complications is reduced by 12%. When an individual can bring their biomarkers under control, their life andqualify of lifewill be extended.Another reason this program needs to be expanded is to reach more people in rural areas who have limited access to healthcare and education,and to motivate individuals that they can improve their lives through self-management.The Dining with Diabetes program is taught in five 2.5-3 hour sessions that include nutrition and physical activity, discussion and questions answered, food demonstrations and tastings. Guest speakers may address eye and foot problems, psychological factors and the importance offamily support.The overall public value of the Dining with Diabetes program is to reduce the incidence of medical complications related to poor blood glucose control and the resulting healthcare costs, as well as, minimize the economic implications associated with the disease and its complications. Diabetes community education programs reduce the risk of diabetes by 58%. The care of people with diabetes presents significant economic challenges, as well as, a significant burden on the healthcare system. This, coupled with the quality of life issues for people affected by the disease, reveals the intense public value that the Dining with Diabetes program can have across the state.

Effective start/end date9/1/158/31/18


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $295,562.00


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