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Prevention Classes

Diabetes Prevention Program

Providing diabetes awareness, education and screening

Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in Louisiana. Currently, there are an estimated 300,000-350,000 people living with diabetes in our state, and many are unaware that they have the disease. To help reduce the risk for our neighbors, DESMA offers a community diabetes education and prevention program.

Feel great. Lose weight. Be healthy.

To learn more and join our program, contact us at 985-466-1118.

Diabetes Prevention Program

The DESMA’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is available to help adults with a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is twice as common among African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian-Americans.

Our program encourages healthy lifestyles by:

  • Eating healthier
  • Increasing physical activity
  • Losing a modest amount of weight in order to reduce the chances of developing      Type 2 diabetes

This yearlong program is part of a national curriculum from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lifestyle coaches meet with small groups for 16 weeks and monthly thereafter.  Sessions are available at convenient times and routine measurements are done throughout the program. A recent diabetes screening is required for eligibility.

How DPP works

Diabetes prevention programs recognized as part of the National Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program use lifestyle change interventions that target improving diet, increasing physical activity and achieving moderate weight loss. Participants must be non diabetic and either at risk or diagnosed with pre-diabetes. The goal for each participant is to lose five to seven percent of their initial body weight by: 

  • Progressively  reducing dietary intake of calories and fat through improved food choices
  • Gradually  increasing moderate physical activity (e.g., brisk walking) to ≥150  minutes per week
  • Developing behavioral problem-solving and coping skills 


  • A  free, year-long structured program (in-person, group-led discussion style)      consisting of:
    • An initial four-month phase in which participants meet weekly
    • A second six-month phase offering at least one session a month (ten total       sessions)
  • Facilitation  by one to two trained lifestyle coaches 
  • Use of  a CDC-approved curriculum
  • Regular opportunities for direct interaction between the lifestyle coach and      participants
  • An emphasis on behavior modification, managing stress and peer support
  • A free six-month gym membership and additional incentives throughout the program


  • Must  be 18 years or older
  • Diagnosed  as pre-diabetic (screenings are available upon request)
  • Resident  of Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, Livingston & St. Helena Parishes
  • Overweight (BMI greater than 25)

Since 2010,  Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) has more than doubled in participation. More than two-thirds (71.4%) of participants achieved measurable improvements in three or more indicators and saw a decrease in their hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). For more information, call DESMA’s Office of Community Health at 985-466-1118.


Next Class starts Nov. 2019

Call for details.