New prevention program tackles diabetes in Sterling Heights

Nearly 1,087,000 people in Michigan, or 12.9 percent of the adult population, have diabetes, according to a recent report from the American Diabetes Association. Now, the Sterling Heights Public Library is teaming up with Beaumont Health to provide residents with a free prevention program.

The program is a research-based approach to preventing Type 2 diabetes and focuses on lifestyle changes related to healthy eating, physical activity, problem-solving, and coping skills. According to organizers, the program has been proven to be twice as effective as medication alone at preventing Type 2 diabetes.

The concept has resonated so well with residents that the 16-class program, which supports 20 participants and will run through the summer, is already full. But the program doesn’t stop with the end of summer. Monthly meetings will continue for the rest of the year to support participants as they maintain their progress.

Jason Groth from the Sterling Heights Public Library says the class fits in with the library's central goal to connect people with the resources they need.

“Everyone wants to make healthy lifestyle choices,” Groth says. “But having the tools and motivation to follow through isn't always easy. As such, we are connecting our residents with a medical professional and giving them an opportunity to work through their choices with fellow strugglers.”

“The group itself is a resource for our residents, and one we hope will pay dividends for the participants and their loved ones.”

“Type 2 diabetes is a largely preventable disease, which can be kept at bay through healthy eating and moderate exercise,” says Alicia Jackson, diabetes program manager at Beaumont Community Health and Outreach.

“We teach those at risk, and those diagnosed, to tweak their diet and make other healthy changes,” Jackson says. “To help people transform their lives and attain healthy goals is so uplifting.”

Read more articles by Kate Roff.

Kate Roff is a freelance writer and editor, currently based out of Detroit. Contact her at
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