Developing a healthy lifestyle is all about taking control. When you have type 2 diabetes it can mean several things. For example, it means learning how to manage your blood sugar, keeping your blood pressure in check, eating well-balanced healthy meals and adding exercise to your daily activities. Many people with type 2 diabetes struggle with basic diabetes management.

In the United States there are about 29 million people with diabetes. That is about 1 in 11 people. Diabetes can lead to serious complications and premature death, but people with diabetes, working together with their support network and their health care providers, can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications.

If you or a loved one is struggling to manage diabetes, the Penn State Extension Dining with Diabetes program could be for you. This nationally accredited program is for adults with or at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Family members are also invited to attend the program.

Classes are offered weekly for five weeks and kicks off with an orientation session. Participants meet again three months later for a follow-up session to check progress.

The program begins March 7, and is held weekly until April 11, with a follow-up session on June 6. All sessions are from 10 a.m. to  noon.

This class, a $200 value, is offered at $39 per person.

Participants learn how to prepare meals that are healthy, simple, and tasty; sample the foods; and learn up to date information on nutrition, planning, and important diabetes-related medical tests. A1C testing is available for an additional cost, and blood pressure will be taken at the orientation session and follow-up class. Participants are also given program booklets and the Dining with Diabetes Cookbook.

Comments from past participants:

“A great overall review of better eating habits and it was fun!”

“The class was very informative with information about eating and all aspects of healthy living. Recipes were great and easy to make. The whole family and friends liked them. Coming to class was time well spent.”

Diabetes is a very serious and costly disease, but research has shown that those who learn to manage their blood glucose (sugar) levels, eat healthy, and exercise regularly can lower their risk of complications and lead a healthier and more productive life.

Penn State Extension Berks County, Berks County Agricultural Center, 1238 County Welfare Road, Leesport, will host the next local Dining with Diabetes session.

The Berks County Ag Center is handicapped accessible and all parking is free. For information about accessibility, call 610- 378-1327. For information about program content, call 610-489-4315. To REGISTER, call 1-877-345-0691.

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