Sun Health’s Diabetes Prevention Program, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helping people cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half   

Tracy Garrett Teaching in KitchenSURPRISE, ARIZ. (Jan. 14, 2015) – Floyd and Linda Cotton have been doing a lot of new clothes shopping lately. After participating in Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) classes offered at the Sun Health Center for Health & Wellbeing, the Sun City Grand couple have not only fallen in love with a new, healthy lifestyle—they’ve also noticed some significant changes.

“I’m down a good two or three sizes in my waist, but even more than that, I just don’t feel sluggish. I always have energy now,” said Floyd, 73.

The Cottons signed up for Sun Health’s DPP series, held at the Center at 14719 W. Grand Ave., after Floyd was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. At six-feet, 230 pounds, Floyd was just steps away from being diabetic. During the 10-month program, he lost more than 25 pounds and his blood glucose levels dropped from a high of 124 (almost in the diabetic range) to a reading of 97 (normal). Both Cottons also were able to stop taking cholesterol medications and reduce their high blood pressure medications.

This is just one of several positive outcomes to date since the Center started the DPP classes in March 2013. Instructors Tracy Garrett, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, and Rhonda Zonoozi, an exercise physiologist and certified health coach provide credentials not found in most other DPP programs, which often are taught by health coaches.

DPP is a 22-session (16-weeks with six monthly follow up sessions) lifestyle change program, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and clinically proven to help people cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than half. Sun Health is one of just seven CDC-approved sites for teaching DPP in Arizona.

The first two groups who took DPP at Sun Health in 2014 collectively lost 323 pounds, an average weight loss of 6.6 percent for the 21 participants. The CDC reports that weight loss of five to 7 percent of body weight—for example, 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person—can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent in people with prediabetes.

Sun Health’s 22-part DPP series costs $220 (just $10 per class/session), including materials. Other programs in Arizona cost nearly $500, and may not be taught by a certified educator.

Linda Cotton appreciates the positive effect the classes have had on their health. “It is encouraging that there are programs like this. It is truly set up to make you succeed.”

The Sun Health Center for Health & Wellbeing is offering classes this month at three locations:

  •  Starts Monday, Jan. 26; 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. – La Loma Care Center, Community Education Room, 14260 Denny Blvd., Litchfield Park
  • Starts Wednesday, Jan. 28; 3 to 4:30 p.m. – Banner Boswell Medical Center, Support Services Administrative Conference Room, 13180 N. 103rd Dr., Sun City
  • Starts Thursday, Jan. 29; 1 to 2:30 p.m. – Sun Health Center for Health & Wellbeing, Community Room, 14719 W. Grand Ave., Surprise

Please call 623-832-9355 to register. The program cost may be covered by some health care insurance policies.

About Sun Health

A long-standing community partner championing healthy living, nonprofit Sun Health is a community-based health care organization providing pathways to population health through philanthropy, senior living, community programs and superior health care.

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