Ending Type 2 Diabetes One Exercise, Nutrition, and Gardening Class at a Time

Posts Tagged ‘Dieting’

The Fair Haven Community Health Center Visits the Peabody Museum’s FOOD EXHIBIT!!

In About the Program, Nutrition Class on April 27, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Written by guest blogger Emilie Swenson

“Quien le gustaba el museo hoy?”  (Who liked the museum today?)  I asked in the van on the way back to Fair Haven.  Of my six passengers, everyone raised their hands!   Participants from the Diabetes Prevention and Bright Bodies programs took a field trip last Tuesday, April 17th, to the Big Food exhibit at the Peabody Museum.  Tickets were generously donated by the Peabody Museum for the free entry of 38 patients and five program facilitators. The exhibit explores culture and eating, and focuses on many of the issues that participants learn about through the healthy lifestyle programs they attend through the Fair Haven Community Health Center.  The groups walked through the exhibit with Elizabeth Magenheimer, APRN CNM CDE, who used the exhibit to solidify many of the concepts about healthy eating she teaches in the weekly lifestyle program curriculum.  Participants balked at the amount of food one person consumes in a year—eight whole pizzas, many liters of soda, gallons and gallons of milk, and stacks of boxes full of vegetables.  They took examined nutrition facts and compared snacks, learning more about which snacks are good to eat (given a green light in the exhibit), and those to stay away from (red light)!

One of the main topics that is discussed during the education portion of these programs is how to look for healthy foods, how to make healthier choices, how to understand portion sizes, and how to be active.  This exhibit combined many of these things in interactive ways.  As we walked through, we talked about beverages—looking at the many teaspoons of sugar contained in different beverages—from Coke to Iced Tea to Capri Sun, realizing that water really is the best option!  We also saw how portion sizes have changed throughout the years; many foods like bagels have doubled in size over the past 20 years!  There was a display of a reclining youth, laying in bed, one hand in a bag of chips, and a can of soda beside his bed, remote in hand, TV on.  We talked about what was unhealthy about his behavior, and how we can all make changes.  No Chips, No Soda, and No TV, were all ideas mentioned by the children.

By far the biggest hit of the exhibit was the stationary bike that powered a light – the harder you peddled, the higher up on the wall the light went.  The kids and parents (and even nurse practitioner) tried their hand (or legs) at this activity while a crowd of onlookers cheered them on.  It was a great adventure to visit the Big Food exhibit in the museum and reinforce the concepts they are learning in their healthy lifestyle programs. Thank you to the Peabody Museum for hosting us!

Where have all the Registered Dietitians Gone?

In About the Program on February 6, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Interestingly, the Fair Haven Community Health Center has struggled to find a registered dietitian (RD) for our Diabetes Prevention Program vacancy. At the outset, we had no concerns about our ability to obtain qualified candidates. And yet, as search stretched from weeks to months, we discovered that we were sorely mistaken. It turns out that a “Bilingual (Spanish/English) Registered Dietician” is a rare commodity.

Why, we wondered, is it that bilingual dieticians are scarce?

Theory: the return on investment is too low.

Many folks coming from underprivileged backgrounds are interested in working in the health field. When they explore their options, two professions seem to fit their criteria: becoming a nurse and becoming a registered dietician. There is a demand in the market for both, the living is decent in either case, and in each profession provides an opportunity to make a difference in people’s health. So how do they choose?

They look at the cost and duration of each degree.

At Gateway Community College, located not far from the Fair Haven Community Health Center, a state resident can earn an associates nursing degree in 2 years, or 4 semesters, for a grand total of $6,192. This is one of many community, state, and private institutions that offer nursing degrees.

Now take a registered dietitian degree. First off, there is just one such program in Connecticut, located in Storrs at UCONN. In order to earn this degree, read the following passage taken from the program website:

To become an RD, a student must earn a four year degree and complete a didactic program in dietetics that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Dietetic Education(CADE).  Upon completion, a verification statement that verifies you completed a didactic program in dietetics.  You are then eligible to apply to a supervised practice program, also called a dietetic internship that is accredited by CADE.  An internship typically lasts 9 months and consists of at least 1200 supervised practice hours in the field.   Upon completion of an internship, he/she is able to sit for the national registration examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). http://www.canr.uconn.edu/nutsci/nutsci/dietetics.html

Four years of study at $8,256 equals $33,024.

Now look again at your choices: two years to become a practicing nurse in the field for $6,192, OR a minimum of 4 years plus a 9-month internship to become a registered dietitian, at a minimum cost of $33,024.

You may be thinking yes, but I can make a lot more money as a registered dietitian once I have the degree! Think again. A registered nurse makes between $21-$45/hour. An RD earns between $15-$36/hour.

There may be many reasons that people become registered dietitians; but cost and duration of the degree are certainly not two of them. The result of these aggravating factors is a scarcity of registered dietitians. Those who are bilingual often come from economically disadvantaged conditions, and although they are precisely the kinds of job candidates we are searching for, they are the people who can scarcely afford the 4 years 9 months and $33,024 cost of becoming registered dietitions.

 

 

Community-Based Participatory Research Overview

In Intensive Lifestyle Intervention - General on October 24, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Guest blogger Rosette Chakkalakal will be posting updates on the Community-Based Participatory Research project that she is managing with the FHCHC DPP and Yale’s Bright Bodies Program. This post is an overview of the research so far:

We are using a community-based research approach to conduct a program evaluation of Fair Haven Community Health Center’s (FHCHC) Diabetes Prevention Program.  Our team includes program leadership and staff from the FHCHC Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), the Bright Bodies program, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at Yale.   The program evaluation specifically focuses on making the program more family-centered and improving the quality of the self-monitoring aspect of the program.  Over the summer, our project team met several times to review the processes and goals of each program and find opportunities to incorporate additional “family time” activities in each session.  Some of these activities include family food tastings of healthy recipes and exercising together.  We also devised a strategy to encourage participants to self-monitor their physical activity using quality improvement techniques to attain a goal of having 50% of our participants return their exercise diaries by the end of the 12-week program.  Right now, we are meeting twice per month to think about how these new interventions and strategies are working as we implement them with the current participants of the programs.  We are constantly thinking of ways to adapt the program to make it better—for example, we haven’t seen many of the participants return their exercise diaries so we will now be giving out “Bright Bodies Bucks” to participants who return their diaries that we will then use to enter them in raffles.  We also realize that right now, we only receive feedback from the program leaders regarding these new elements of the curriculum.  We will start handing out brief “activity evaluation” forms to the participants so they can tell us what they think of the programs as well.

Photo Food Diaries

In Food Diaries, Nutrition Class on March 29, 2011 at 10:22 AM

The FHCHC Diabetes Prevention Program is testing the effectiveness of photo food diaries, and comparing the results with written food diaries. According to the NIH:

“All participants are asked to record their intake daily…because of the extensive evidence that self-monitoring is highly correlated with success in reaching dietary change goals. Numerous studies have shown a dose-response relationship between frequency of self-monitoring and level of success in losing weight and/or improving cardiovascular risk factors. Many experts consider self-monitoring the single most effective approach to changing dietary intake.” NIH DPP

For many FHCHC DPP participants, writing their daily food intake and the amounts of those foods they consume, occurs as very challenging. Indeed, it is rare that 100% of participants present their food diaries in any given week. Knowing the importance of self-monitoring, and the challenging nature of food diaries for our participants, we handed out disposable cameras with explicit directions on how to document their food consumption. Use the flash! Take a picture of everything you eat, even if it’s a snack or beverage. Bring it back next week.
Below are some examples of the photos women took in the first couple weeks of their participation in the FHCHC DPP program. In a week, participants will return their second set of disposable cameras, and the Lead Provider and nutritionist will analyze the results to see whether photo food diaries are a more effective self-monitoring strategy than written food diaries. They will look at rate of return, as well as glean any changes in food consumption that may have taken place since the first couple weeks of the program.

 

 

 

 

 

Basil: Low Cost and Low Calorie Recipe

In Community Garden on July 14, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Basil is a very prolific herb, and yet because the ingredients in many basil dishes are expensive and high in calories it is an impractical herb for many with financial and metabolic constraints.

Here is an alternative recipe:

Nutrition Class – Health is a TODAY! Now! Phenomena

In Nutrition Class on June 10, 2010 at 10:17 PM

Elizabeth, the Nurse Practitioner responsible for teaching the participants’ weekly 45min Nutrition Class, exclaims “This is not a diet!”

No, this is not a short term hiatus from their current lifestyle. Not a vacation or a lent-like intervention. Preventing Diabetes is a life-long activity, and Elizabeth never fails to remind them of the Today! Now! Every Day! nature of the program.

The women listening nod their heads, wide-eyed and looking equal parts nervous as excited.

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