Individuals at risk for pre-diabetes are encouraged to call the Pen Bay Diabetes and Nutrition Center to see about participating in the Healthy Lifestyles Program, a diabetes prevention program developed by the Centers for Disease Control.

“The CDC estimates that one of every three U.S. adults has pre-diabetes,” said Eileen Molloy, registered dietitian and diabetes educator at Pen Bay Healthcare’s Diabetes and Nutrition Care Center. “Someone with pre-diabetes is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes which increases the risk for possible complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage and other health problems.”

The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed. In fact, the Healthy Lifestyles Program has been proven to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by up to 58 percent in people with pre-diabetes. Participants work with trained lifestyle coaches in a group setting to receive a one-year program that includes 16 core sessions (one per week) and six post-core sessions (one per month). Program coaches are registered dietitians and nurses who lead classes to help participants improve their food choices, increase physical activity and learn coping skills to maintain weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes.

Participants must be overweight with a body mass index above 25 and have one of the following to be eligible to participate: diagnosis of pre-diabetes, history of gestational diabetes and score 10 points or more on the Diabetes Risk Screen below.

Diabetes Risk Screen

  • 1 point – Are you woman who had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds?
  • 1 point – Do you have a sister or brother with diabetes?
  • 1 point – Do you have a parent with diabetes?
  • 5 points – Is your weight higher than normal? (according to BMI chart)
  • 5 points – Are you younger than 65 with little or no exercise in a typical day?
  • 5 points – Are you between 45-65 years of age?
  • 9 points – Are you 65 or older?

Classes will be held on Thursdays, starting Sept. 5, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Picker Family Resource Center on the Pen Bay Medical Center campus, 6 Glen Cove Drive, Rockport. Many insurances will cover the program and scholarships are available through the Picker Family Resource Center’s Community Transformation Grant. A $50 returnable deposit is available if participants attend at least one-half or the program sessions. Pre-registration is required.

For more information about pre-diabetes or the Healthy Lifestyles Program, call the Diabetes and Nutrition Care Center at 701-3999 or email Eileen Molloy at