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Healthstyles — Healthy Living for Diabetes Prevention

Timmins, Ontario — Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Porcupine Health Unit is offering a program to help community members prevent type 2 diabetes. The program called HealthStyles, is guided by a health care professional team.  Participants in Timmins and Kapuskasing will learn the skills needed to make lasting changes such as losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active and managing stress.

People with prediabetes, that is, higher-than-normal blood glucose (sugar) levels, are 5 to 10 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels. In fact, many people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 3 years if they do not work to prevent it.

“About 11 million Canadians had prediabetes in 2016, therefore the need for prevention has never been greater,” says Emilie Leblond, Public Health Dietitian with the Porcupine Health Unit. “The HealthStyles program offers an evidence-based approach to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through simple lifestyle changes.”

Participants will learn how to improve their eating habits, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. The HealthStyles group will meet once a week for 12 weeks, then drop to 6 bi-weekly sessions, then finally drop to 6 monthly sessions to encourage maintenance of healthy lifestyle changes. The group setting provides a supportive environment as everyone is facing similar challenges and aiming to make similar changes. Together, participants can celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.

Leblond explains that certain people are at higher risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes:

  • 40 years of age or older
  • Family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Overweight – especially if you carry most of your weight around your middle section
  • Members of high-risk groups (Aboriginal, Hispanic, South Asian, Asian, or African descent)
  • Physically active fewer than three times per week
  • Diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.

HealthStyles is being offered at the Porcupine Health Unit beginning in September and enrolment for the program is now open. To obtain more information and determine if you are eligible for the program, call Emilie Leblond at the Porcupine Health Unit at 705-267-1181 Ext.2350 or e-mail at

The Porcupine Health Unit is located in Northeastern Ontario, serving the entire Cochrane District and Hornepayne, in the Algoma District. The main office is located in Timmins, Ontario, with branch offices in Cochrane, Hearst, Hornepayne, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Matheson, Moosonee and Smooth Rock Falls.