There is a large prevalence of adults with diabetes in Albany County: 20,700 adults in Albany County (8.7%) diagnosed with diabetes from 2008 to 2009. In order to prevent more adults from developing this chronic disease, the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) has been disseminated and supported by the QTAC-NY for several years.
Recently, the large grocery store chain, ShopRite, piloted the NDPP at the Colonie, NY store to highlight its in-store dietitian program and the availability of healthy food items found throughout the store. Some of these items were used for demonstration throughout the year-long program.
ShopRite’s support of the NDPP was clear from the beginning when the in-store dietitian, Amy Imler, MS, RD, CDN, was permitted to commit some of her work hours to the promotion, recruitment, and facilitation of the program within the newest store in the Albany area.
The National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) is an evidence-based lifestyle change program, recognized by the CDC, created specifically for adults who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, or who are pre-diabetic. The year-long program helps participants make real lifestyle changes such as eating healthier, including physical activity into their daily lives, and improving problem-solving and coping skills. Participants meet with a trained lifestyle coach and a small group of people who are making lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes. Sessions are weekly for 6 months and then monthly for 6 months. This proven program can help participants make achievable and realistic lifestyle changes and cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.
Reach and Impact
The pilot program kicked off in May 2014 with 17 people registered. Of those, 10 people attended an average of 91% of the classes losing an average of 16 pounds with 8 ultimately losing the recommended 5-7%, or more, of weight. The program was held on Monday evenings for the working population. Store recruitment included: flyers, in-store broadcast announcements, flyers as bag stuffers, pharmacy inserts, ShopRite Shop at Home flyers, and through one-on-one nutritional counseling. The promotion of the class also gave ShopRite the opportunity to tell people about other services within the store and about the other Living Healthy programs like the Diabetes Self Management Program. All participants were directed to register online through QTAC-NY Compass.
Within the organization, store employees and supervisors became aware that something was happening because they’d see that the community room was booked for the classes or maybe they’d see it full of people. This relayed the message that the Lifestyle Coach and store employee was bringing potential customers into the store. A win-win for all involved.
Importance of Impact
There was a noticeable difference with many of the participants. People in the program reported to their Lifestyle Coaches, Ms. Imler and Ms. Cori Rowe, that they felt better and that the impact of learning about portion sizes and measuring, along with the addition of physical activity into their lives, motivated them and made a difference in the program outcomes like weight loss and increases in physical activity.
The Lifestyle Coaches also noted that participants gained from learning about stress management in the program. One of the coaches made STOP signs on letter-sized cardstock for each participant to have and to focus on when stress was interfering with their lifestyle changes. It is said that people really focused on themselves; sometimes spouses or family members took on the lifestyle changes without attending the program e.g., it was reported that one participant’s husband lost weight following the program without ever attending it himself.
The next NDPP at ShopRite of Colonie will begin September 2015; again, with an early evening start time for people who work during the day. In addition to in-store marketing, recruitment flyers will also be distributed at community health events and through existing community network opportunities within the Capital District.
Amy Imler MS, RD, CDN, Dietitian & In Store Nutrition Expert
ShopRite of Colonie
1730 Central Ave. Albany, NY 12205