Newswise — NEW YORK, February 15, 2017 – Sandra Marin, a Bronx grandmother who lost 100 pounds by participating in Health People’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC)-approved National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) will be featured Thursday February 16 in the CDC’s new national public service campaign to promote effective diabetes prevention. The segment will air during the CBS Morning News in major cities throughout the nation as part of a groundbreaking national initiative to assure that Americans with pre-diabetes get help.

With an estimated one-in-three American adults having pre-diabetes, prevention is imperative to stop millions more from developing diabetes. Marin tells host Joan Lunden how she reversed her own pre-diabetes through the DPP by learning to “self-manage” her health, making easy changes in her eating habits---“baking instead of frying” and starting to exercise regularly.

“I walk and do exercise at home with my grandkids,” Marin added. “They’re my motivation.”

Marin now weighs 196 pounds, down from 298 pounds when she started the DPP.

Health People, the South Bronx Community Preventive Health Institute, trains local residents to become “LifeStyle Coaches” who deliver the DPP at community centers, public housing and other places convenient for those who most need it. The South Bronx has the highest pre-diabetes and diabetes rates in New York State.

The DPP is a yearlong training, consisting of 22 group sessions over a year giving participants knowledge and support to maintain better eating habits and to exercise more. Reaching the main program goals of a five to seven percent weight loss – and exercising 30 minutes a day 5 times a week – will reverse pre-diabetes for the majority of participants.

“We think it’s important and more effective to involve the community on every level including being the LifeStyle Coaches. That way, people see others who are succeeding right in front of them and they realize they can succeed, too,” said Chris Norwood, Executive Director of Health People. “For some reason, there’s a widespread but wrong view that people who live in low-income areas don’t lose weight. With the group support the DPP provides, we see just the opposite. Right now the two DPP groups the Health People Lifestyle Coaches are facilitating are exceeding the CDC goals---with an overall 8% average weight loss.”

“Unfortunately, despite years of evidence and research showing that DPP works, most insurance, including Medicaid, will not pay for it. That only means the nation gets further and further behind on prevention, while millions develop diabetes they never should have had,” said Norwood. As a mother of four and grandmother of eleven, Marin is very happy she can now help her family develop healthy habits and help her neighborhood. She has taken the Health People training to teach diabetes self-care to those who already have diabetes, helping them avoid serious complications such as amputation and blindness.

“I want to continue to fight against diabetes and help others know they can fight, too,” Marin said.

Learn more about Marin’s inspiring story by linking to the CDC National Campaign here:

About Health PeopleHealth People is a groundbreaking peer education, prevention and support organization in the South Bronx whose mission is to train and empower residents of communities overwhelmed by chronic disease and AIDS to become leaders and educators in effectively preventing ill health, hospitalization and unnecessary death.

Established in 1990 as a women’s AIDS prevention and support program, Health People has grown, using its peer-education model, to provide a full range of HIV/AIDS services for men, women and families. It also has conducted community asthma programs, New York’s first diabetes peer-educators program, and a community smoking cessation program. Health People’s Junior Peer program, Kids-Helping-Kids includes teens who are mentors for younger children with sick or missing parents.

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