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The beginning of the new year seems a good time to assess health goals and get a fresh start on health; at least when it comes to diabetes prevention. Diabetes is a major health risk and Chaffee County Public Health has planned three free classes, Jan. 25 or 29 in Salida, and Jan. 30 in Buena Vista, to help county residents learn how to make the lifestyle changes necessary to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes. The programs are coordinated with the Heart of the Rockies Medical center’s Wellness U.

The Diabetes Prevention Program was developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in response to 2017 statistics that indicate that one in every three Americans are prediabetic. People with prediabetes have higher than normal blood glucose levels, but not high enough yet to actually be diagnosed with diabetes. Nearly 90 percent of people with a prediabetes condition don’t even know they have it.

There are risk factors associated with the condition. They include: being overweight, being less physically active, having a parent, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes, being over the age of 40, being male, or being a woman with a history of gestational diabetes.

CCPH says the prevention program has been developed based on scientific findings and following it can reverse prediabetes. To find out whether they are at risk, members of the public can take the online risk test at

There will be eligibility criteria for participation in the class program. Form more information and to sign up for the free Diabetes Prevention Program classes, contact Chaffee County Public Health at 719-539-4510.