Community Events

Learn how to dine with diabetes during National Nutrition Month

Mandel Smith, a nutrition, diet and health educator for Penn State Extension, demonstrates how to cook a healthy recipe during a free diabetes program at the Limerick Green senior community development in February. Submitted Photo

Mandel Smith, a nutrition, diet and health educator for Penn State Extension, demonstrates how to cook a healthy recipe during a free diabetes program at the Limerick Green senior community development. Submitted Photo

By Michilea Patterson, The Mercury

Penn State Extension will set the table for healthy living with their free Dining with Diabetes classes in the area this month.

March is National Nutrition Month with makes it the perfect time for individuals affected by a diabetes diagnosis to learn more about eating nutritious meals. The class is for adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as well as their family and friends. The free program is also open to those with pre-diabetes. Individuals with either of these conditions have higher than normal blood glucose levels.

Pamphlets about living with diabetes are on display during a diabetes awareness event at the Spring Valley YMCA. KEVIN HOFFMAN — Mercury File Photo

Pamphlets about living with diabetes are on display during a diabetes awareness event at the Spring Valley YMCA. KEVIN HOFFMAN — Mercury File Photo

About 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and 86 million people have pre-diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Today, diabetes takes more lives than AIDS and breast cancer combined; claiming the life of one American every three minutes,” according to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation www.diabetesresearch.org.

In the Dining with Diabetes classes, people will learn how to better manage the disease through exercise and nutrition.

The Pottstown Memorial Medical Center will host the next series of classes starting today from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The address is the Chesmont Building at 13 Armand Hammer Blvd. After that, St. Joseph Church in East Vincent will host the next session starting March 15 from 10 a.m. to noon. The address is 3640 Schuylkill Road, Spring City. Then the Boyertown Public Library will start a session March 30 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The address is 29 E. Philadelphia Ave.

The sessions include exercise activities, healthy recipe demonstrations and other educational materials. Class participants will receive several free resources to help them live healthier including an exercise DVD, collection of diabetes friendly recipes and a fitness resistance band. All of this information is offered free to the community because of a Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation grant. Without the grant, such a program would cost $40 for each participant.

The educational classes are part of a university study and data is collected for research. The study is used to determine if diabetes programs helps those diagnosed better manage the disease. Each participant will have their blood pressure and sugar levels checked every class to monitor progress.

Pre-registration is required because spaces are limited. To register, contact Mandel Smith at 610-489-4315 or register online at extension.psu.edu/health/diabetes/events/.

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