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New Program for Families

By Staff | Feb 25, 2010

An exciting new program that will promote and teach healthy habits to families will begin this March at Palo Alto County Hospital.

“Children learn eating and exercise habits from their parents and care givers,” commented Cindy Kassel, Diabetic Educator at Palo Alto County Health System. Learning and practicing healthy habits as a family can be very successful because behavior change can be reinforced by each family member.

The Iowa Department of Public Health Estimates up to 40-percent of Iowa children are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes due to obesity and unhealthy lifestyles. Children are also at high risk in households where one or more close relatives have diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Before people develop Type 2 diabetes, they almost always have pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Research has shown that if a person takes action to control his/her blood sugar with pre-diabetes, it can delay or prevent Type 2 diabetes from ever developing.  

“Yes We Can” – Families working together to Prevent Diabetes, is funded by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Rural Health Policy. The program will be offered at Palo Alto County Health System as well as seven other rural hospitals in the Mercy North Iowa network.

This free program is being offered to families who want to work together to be more physically active and to eat healthier as a way to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. The program will teach how small changes can make a big difference. Food tasting, cooking demonstrations and information will be shared to help plan healthful meals for your family, both at home and when you eat out. Activity ideas will help make physical activity a fun part of your family’s daily routine. Free health screenings and free samples are also a part of the program.

The “Yes We Can” program will consist of four Thursday sessions beginning March 11, 5 to 7 p.m. at the Palo Alto County Hospital. Those signing up for the program must have at least one child and one parent or caregiver to participate, although the goal is to have the whole family attend. A sack lunch will be served at each of the four sessions. 

Anyone who would like more information about “Yes We Can”, or any who would like to register for this program, please call Cindy Kassel at 712-852-5425. Class size is limited.