UMaine Extension Kicks Off New Diabetes Program

Machias, Maine — A new free program, Dining with Diabetes Down East, is being launched in Washington County for people with type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, their family members and caregivers.

In the program led by University of Maine Cooperative Extension registered dietitian Alan Majka, participants will meet once a week for four weeks to learn how to plan and cook meals appropriate for people with diabetes and prediabetes. In addition, there will opportunities to taste a variety of main and side dishes, and desserts.

According to the U. S. CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, in recent years the prevalence of diabetes in Maine has tripled and more than 10 percent of Washington County adults have been diagnosed with the condition. An estimated 3 percent more have diabetes and don’t yet know it. Most people with the disease have Type 2 diabetes, formerly known as adult onset or non-insulin dependent diabetes. In addition to those who already have diabetes, experts suspect up to 35 percent of adults have a condition known as prediabetes that can eventually lead to diabetes.

If not properly managed, diabetes can lead to blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, amputations and many other major health problems. To manage the condition, individuals and their families must learn many new skills, including how to eat to help control blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.

If you are interested in participating in this program and would like more information, or to request a disability accommodation, please call 207.255.3345 or 800.287.1542 (toll free in Maine), or complete our confidential online survey .  This program is being offered with support from Healthy Acadia, the Downeast Community Transformation Collaborative and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.