Health department offers free health education, testing

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Southwest Utah Public Health Department is offering three new opportunities for healthy living education to help residents lose weight and prevent diabetes and heart disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled in the last 20 years as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese.

“Food choices and lack of physical activity play a major role in putting people at increased risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease,” Jeff Smith, the health department’s diabetes program manager, said in a press release. “By consistently making sustainable changes to eat a little better and move more, people can really make a difference in reducing their risk of these serious diseases.”

The health department’s new health education options are free and include an online course, weekly in-person classes and a monthly community forum.

Online course

This course is self-paced and easy to follow with short readings, engaging videos and action steps. After completing the course, adult participants will be eligible for a free A1C test that measures blood sugar levels over the prior few months. This course can be found here.

Weekly in-person classes

Classes are held every Tuesday from noon to 12:50 p.m. at the health department’s St George office at 620 S. 400 East. Classes will provide a safe and encouraging place to learn and discuss healthy living topics. After attending six classes, adult participants will be eligible for a free A1C test.

Monthly community forum

These forums will provide an opportunity for people to ask questions and get answers about diabetes management and prevention. The department will invite local medical professionals to take questions from the audience. The forums will start May 9 at 6 p.m. and will be held every second Thursday thereafter at the health department’s St. George office.

“We are really trying to motivate people to start making simple, healthy changes, and we believe these new learning opportunities will do that,” Smith said.

You can learn more at the Southwest Utah Public Health Department website or by calling Smith at 435-986-2552.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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