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Day to Day with Diabetes Offers Virtual Support Heading into Holidays

By Tracy Courage, U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast Facts

The end-of-the-year holidays are just around the corner, along with all the tempting goodies — from Halloween candy to Thanksgiving pies to Christmas cookies. With all this high-fructose cheer, maintaining a healthy diet can be difficult, especially for people with diabetes.

The Cooperative Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, is offering an eight-week online program, Day to Day with Diabetes, which offers resources in health, wellness, nutrition and fitness for people living with diabetes. The next group will meet Oct. 26 – Dec. 18, just in time for the holidays and for November’s Diabetes Awareness Month.

“Food is a big part of many of our holiday traditions and staying on track can be a challenge,” Pope County extension agent Pamela Luker said. “Day to Day with Diabetes offers a place for people to connect with others with similar goals and to share strategies that work for them.

Weekly virtual meetings will be offered each Monday during the lunch hour through Facebook Live and Zoom, with additional resources posted throughout the week. Participation is free, and registration is through the group’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/DaytoDaywithDiabetes

Luker and Yell County extension agent Rachel Chaney started the free online support group earlier this year after seeing a need in their counties. Nearly 15 percent of Arkansans — about 360,000 people — have diabetes, and 800,000 more residents have pre-diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association’s Arkansas Chapter.

Luker and Chaney opened the group to anyone living with diabetes or caring for someone with diabetes. Ninety-one people from across Arkansas, and a few from other states, participated during the summer session.

“Our goal was to provide a place where people can find encouragement from each other as we continue to be socially distanced,” Chaney said. “From the feedback we received, we knew it was something that we should offer again. Our next sessions will be holiday-themed, so even those who’ve been in the group can continue on with us and get new information.

“The good thing about the virtual setting is that everyone can be as active in the group as they want to,” Chaney said. “You can watch the meetings live or you can watch the recording later. We have some people who attend every meeting, and some who just check in on Tuesdays when we post new recipes. You participate at your own pace.”

Extension also offers year-round diabetes prevention education as well as a four-week Living with Diabetes education curriculum through its Family and Consumer Sciences Division. For more information, contact Terrie James (870) 777-5771 or tjames@uaex.edu.

ONE DAY AT A TIME — The Cooperative Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, is offering an eight-week online program, Day to Day with Diabetes, which offers resources in health, wellness, nutrition and fitness for people living with diabetes. The next group will meet Oct. 26 – Dec. 18, just in time for the holidays and for November’s Diabetes Awareness Month.

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