More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the most recent information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in four people with diabetes doesn’t know he or she has it, according to the nation's public health agency.

Against that backdrop, the Diabetes Prevention Program at RiverStone Health will offer a yearlong series of Lifestyle Change classes using the National Diabetes Prevention Program guidelines.  The sessions will focus on lifestyle changes rather than quick fixes.

Participants in the hourlong class series attend weekly sessions for 12 weeks and then gradually shift to monthly sessions for six months. The first class starts January 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The program is free, but spaces are limited with a January 15th registration deadline.  The classes are open to adults who are overweight and have one or more of these risk factors:

  • Pre-diabetic
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol or triglycerides
  • afamily history of type 2 diabetes
  • having a history of gestational diabetes during pregnancy, or delivering a baby weighing nine pounds or more.

The 12-month program teaches participants how to be more active, make healthier food choices, reduce stress, and lose weight to reduce their risk of getting type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Diabetes can damage many parts of the body, including the heart, eyes, kidneys and nerves.

Trained Lifestyle Coaches will lead the group classes and optional physical activity sessions are offered through Billings Parks and Recreation. The classes are on the RiverStone Health campus, 123 South 27th Street. To Sign up:  Call the RiverStone Health Diabetes Prevention Program at 651-6443.