UF IFAS Extension

lawnmower-proprietaryApproximately 1 in 10 people in the state of Florida are directly affected by diabetes. Many more Floridians are at risk of developing the disease and do not know it.

The University of Florida IFAS Extension, Florida’s largest land-grant agriculture and natural resources program, is a federal-state-county partnership providing Floridians with research-based knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences to enhance the quality of human life by making information accessible. Extension provides free consultations on a variety of topics such as financial management, physical activity, food safety, parenting, nutrition, etc. as well as educational programs related to their individual and family well-being/health.

The UF Diabetes Institute, together with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, is working across all 67 Florida counties to provide education programs in type 2 diabetes prevention and management.

Diagnosed with diabetes?  It’s time to take charge.

Take Charge of Your Diabetes (TCYD) is an in-depth, nine session (2 hours each) DSME program developed by UF Dept. Family Youth and Community Sciences faculty offered to adult Florida residents to identify and address barriers to healthy eating and physical activity, as well as understanding important information about ways to proactively manage type 2 diabetes. TCYD is taught by community Extension agents in collaboration with local health professionals in select Florida counties to facilitate curriculum lessons addressing medical issues, nutrition, self-care, exercise, and more:

  • How type 2 diabetes affects your health
  • Risk and symptoms: Important numbers you need to know
  • Planning healthful meals you will enjoy
  • Reading nutrition labels and portion sizes
  • Incorporating physical activity in your life

The program encourages positive behavior changes through a supportive group environment. Given increasing rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes, TCYD is a timely program that meets a critical community need. Residents in Marion, Suwannee, Sumter and Bay counties can take advantage of TCYD program offerings. Visit the ‘Solutions for Your Life’ website for additional information on programs in your area.

Prevention: Making simple changes can reduce your risk of diabetes

The CDC reports that 86 million people in the United States have prediabetes, a condition that increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Only 1 out of every 10 know they have prediabetes. It’s important to take the risk factors for type 2 diabetes seriously. Without lifestyle changes to improve health, approximately 15–30 percent of people with prediabetes will go on to develop the condition within five years.  Making modest behavior changes can help prevent, delay, and even reverse the long term complications of the disease.

UF IFAS Extension agents in several counties in Florida teach diabetes prevention classes using the Prevent T2 curriculum, a community-based program that allows individuals to work with other participants and a trained lifestyle coach to learn the skills needed to make lasting lifestyle changes. The program was adapted from the Diabetes Prevention Program, a landmark clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that a structured lifestyle intervention program can help people with prediabetes cut the risk factors for developing the disease by more than half when combined with losing 5-7 percent of total body weight.

As part of the program, group participants will meet for a year- weekly for the first 6 months, then once or twice a month for the second 6 months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes. During each session, the trained lifestyle coach teaches a lesson and leads a group discussion. The program helps program participants understand how diabetes affects their health as they learn about nutrition, planning healthy meals, food labels, portion sizes and more.

  • For more information, please contact Dr. Linda Bobroff, professor emerita at bobroff@ufl.edu.

PreventT2 is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).