A survey of past “Dining With Diabetes” participants found that 97 percent adopted one or more practices to improve their food choices or increase their activity level.

In addition, nine out of every 10 participants reported they had increased their knowledge of the relationship between nutrition and health since it began being offered locally in 2012, said Harriet Armstrong, Bartholomew County Purdue Extension educator and course instructor.

More chances to learn about nutrition and make important lifestyle changes are available as the popular program for people struggling with Type 2 diabetes returns this week.

The four-week “Dining With Diabetes” class will be this Friday and the following three Fridays, beginning at noon, at the WellConnect office at 237 Washington St.

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An estimated 10.9 percent of Bartholomew County residents — higher than the 9.3 percent state average — have diabetes, according to Purdue statistics.

Compared to those without the disease, adults with diabetes were more likely to suffer a heart attack, coronary heart disease or stroke, which makes diabetes the seventh leading cause of death in Indiana.

Several changes have been made this year for series, which Armstrong said she hopes will increase its reach.

Location of the course has moved to downtown Columbus.

Cost has been reduced to $7 per person.

At least two dieticians will be scheduled to speak during the four-week course, and the $7 cost includes all materials, snacks and shared recipes, Armstrong said.

Many who have taken the course say that since the curriculum focuses on moderation, rather than trying to impose overwhelming food restrictions, they feel more encouraged about achieving and maintaining long-term success.

Each “Dining with Diabetes” course has programs that includes:

Planning meals and snacks with delicious and healthy recipes.

Motivation and support.

Ideas for becoming more active.

An understanding of how diabetes affects overall health.

Each participant is asked to write a goal that’s specific, measurable, obtainable, realistic and timely, Armstrong said.

If you go

Dining With Diabetes

Where: WellConnect, 237 Washington St.

When: Four consecutive Fridays beginning this week, through Sept. 2, from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Cost: $7 per person; light snack provided at each session.

Information or to register:  812-343-9840.

Types of diabetes

Diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes is usually discovered in adulthood, but an increasing number of children are being diagnosed. There are no episodes of low blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetes unless the person is taking insulin or certain diabetes medicines.

In contrast, the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes usually start in childhood or young adulthood. People often seek medical help because they are seriously ill from sudden symptoms of high blood sugar.

While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating sensibly and exercising regularly.

Source: WebMD

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.