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Healthier Choices Through Diabetes Prevention Tools

By |2024-01-23T09:02:31-05:00January 19th, 2024|Categories: Health A-Z|Tags: , |

Sharon Crawford of Freehold never had any trouble with her A1C levels, a simple blood sugar test to check for prediabetes and diabetes. But after gaining some weight during the pandemic and about with COVID-19, she was alarmed to learn her A1C reached 6.2 – indicating prediabetes.

“Diabetes runs in my family, and I knew I had to take steps to change my lifestyle choices and bring my weight and A1C numbers down,” says Sharon, age 67.

Sharon turned to the Diabetes Prevention Program, an evidence-based, CDC-recognized program at CentraState’s Star and Barry Tobias Health Awareness Center. She received guidance from Neftali Flores, RN, CentraState wellness coach coordinator, on how to make lifestyle changes to lower her A1C.

“Our program is part education and part motivation, with individuals working together and encouraging each other in a group setting,” says Flores.

Since joining the program, Sharon has taken a healthier approach to eating and has incorporated walking, aerobics tapes and light weights into her daily schedule. In one year, she lost 10% of her weight. Through lifestyle adjustments and consistency, her A1C also decreased.

Participation in the program has affected her entire family. Sharon, her husband and their adult autistic son, who lives at home, have all benefited from Sharon’s improved lifestyle choices. Because she is the family’s primary cook, everyone now enjoys healthier meals.

Sharon says a critical part of her success has been committing to better food and activity choices each day. The support of the program, her peers and her family – including another son not living at home – helped keep her motivated.

“This program allowed me to focus on small steps without getting overwhelmed,” says Sharon. “It was exactly what I needed to be successful.”

A Path to Diabetes Prevention

Research shows that more than one in three adults has prediabetes, and more than 80% don’t even know it. The good news is you can reverse its course, and CentraState’s Diabetes Prevention Program can help. The 12-month program features virtual sessions guided by a health coach who is also available via e-mail or phone for extra support.


To learn more about the diabetes management and prevention services at CentraState, check out the link here.

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