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November 11, 2004

Diabetes Program Planned at Supermarkets

The UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute, in partnership with participating Giant Eagle locations and pharmacies and LifeScan, a blood glucose monitor manufacturer, is reaching out to people throughout western Pennsylvania by holding a three-part diabetes education program in participating Giant Eagle stores over the next six months.

The program, beginning this month, is intended to increase diabetes awareness for those at risk and undiagnosed and to provide educational opportunities for prevention and treatment.

“Diabetes already affects more than 18 million Americans with approximately 16 million more with pre-diabetes,” said Linda Siminerio, executive director of the UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute. “National research studies, all facilitated at the University of Pittsburgh, have shown that if people at risk for developing diabetes make lifestyle changes, they can dramatically decrease their chance of progressing to diabetes by 58 percent. For those with diabetes, complications can be prevented with proper treatment and education.”

The first part of the program will include blood glucose screenings at more than a dozen participating urban, suburban and rural Giant Eagle supermarkets. Diabetes educators and licensed, registered dietitians will attend each screening to provide information and consultation. Education materials and lists of resources also will be made available. Pre-registration is not required.

The second part of the program will include food tours, which will give shoppers information on making the best choices when selecting foods. Dietitians will instruct participants how to read labels, select the proper quantity, and what to ask the staff in the market when unsure of a choice. Each tour will be individualized to accommodate the interests and special needs of the participants.

Licensed, registered dietitians will lead approximately 20-24 people who have pre-registered for the food tour. Each guest will be given a tablet of “healthy” grocery lists to use when they shop on their own.

Part three of the program will include four different activities: A cooking demonstration will incorporate what was learned during the food tour; participants will be given a specially prepared collection of recipes to take home; an “Exercise 101” lesson will be facilitated by an exercise physiologist, and suggestions of easy and inexpensive ways to incorporate exercise into an individual’s daily life will be presented.

Individuals also will be given a packet to take home with stretch bands and instructions for exercises, activity logs and a pedometer. A blood glucose monitor information session will be provided by a pharmaceutical representative and the pharmacist at each store will host an “ask the pharmacist” session.

For more information on the program and the program schedule, call UPMC at (412) 647-8762 (UPMC).

Filed under: Feature,Volume 37 Issue 6

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