Dining with Diabetes awarded the National Priester Individual and Family Programming Award

MSU Extension’s Dining with Diabetes team recognized for their programming efforts.

The National Health Outreach Conference is an opportunity to develop new and lasting partnerships with many organizations and agencies all working toward the goal of addressing current and future health and wellness needs in our communities and states. Held earlier this month in Atlanta, GA, The 2015 theme was “Promoting Connections to Create Healthy Individuals, Families and Communities.”

Formerly known as the Priester Conference, the Jeanne M. Priester Award recognizes and rewards Extension programs that positively impact the health of people across the United States. Representing the National Extension Dining with Diabetes work team, myself on behalf of Michigan State University Extension, along with colleagues from Purdue, Penn State, Wyoming, West Virginia and Ohio State were honored with this prestigious award. Currently composed of over 18 Land Grant Universities, including Michigan State University, the goal of this group is to promote and provide research-based diabetes education across the country.

One health concern impacting every state is the increasing number of adults and youth being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. While commonly diagnosed, diabetes does have the potential to develop devastating complications if left undiagnosed or untreated. Research has shown that when blood glucose is controlled, the risk of developing complications decreases and potential risks may be prevented.

MSU Extension Disease Prevention and Management educators deliver research-based information through the Dining with Diabetes program. By providing participants with the skills and knowledge needed to manage their diabetes,  complications such as blindness, heart attack and stroke, kidney disease and nerve damage are decreased.

Developed by West Virginia University, Dining with Diabetes is a series of face-to-face classes that provide education and cooking demonstrations for people with diabetes, their family members and friends, as well as those at risk of developing diabetes. The sessions are led by Extension educators, often in partnership with local community health professionals such as certified diabetes educators, registered dieticians and pharmacists. Sessions consist of a nutrition education lesson and a cooking demonstration followed by the popular taste-testing of recipes. Participants receive resource materials as well as “diabetes friendly recipes.” The length of each series differs by state, typically lasting two hours for three to five weeks. In addition, some states have adapted Dining with Diabetes to provide online classes and additional support topics.

In Michigan, Dining with Diabetes is offered as a four week, two hour workshop. For more information or to register for a workshop, contact your local MSU Extension office or go to http://msue.anr.msu.edu/topic/info/diabetes.

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