November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and it is important to recognize and bring attention to activities that can help manage or prevent diabetes. HHSA’s Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Program (NEOP) focuses on health promotion and the implementation of different strategies and interventions to help individuals establish healthy eating habits and a physically active lifestyle, which is a critical component of any diabetes management plan. The NEOP program is currently partnering with health care providers from Kaweah Health and Family Healthcare Network (FHCN) to implement interventions that include healthy cooking demonstrations, store tours, Zumba, as well as Rethink Your Drink and infused water demonstrations.
NEOP works with retail stores throughout the county to provide nutrition education, including the initiative SHOP Healthy Here (SHH) – Healthy Retail Recognition Program that facilitates partnerships between qualifying small neighborhood grocery stores and local health departments (LHDs) to increase the purchase and consumption of healthy foods and beverages among CalFresh-eligible Californians.
This year NEOP has collaborated with the Kaweah Health Hospital and United Market to engage residents from Dinuba and surrounding communities to participate in a Store Tour event. Participants were given a tour of the store and got an overview of the five MyPlate food groups: fruits, grains, vegetables, protein, and dairy. They learned how to read food labels, make simple grocery lists, and make better choices on the five food groups.
Using the healthy cookbooks and recipe cards, partners demonstrated how a recipe can be altered to become healthier, with less sodium and less fat. All the recipes in the cookbooks have the nutrition information listed for each recipe so that those with diabetes know what the recipe contains in carbohydrates, sodium, fat, and protein. These cookbooks are available for community members to take when attending health fair events.
Kudos to NEOP for its contribution to the health and well-being of the community we serve!