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Intermountain Health Experts Say Education Key to Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

Intermountain Health regularly offers free prediabetes classes in both St. George and Cedar City, as well as virtual classes.

(PRUnderground) March 17th, 2024

If “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” as Benjamin Franklin famously said, how valuable then is the education that leads to such prevention? When it comes to learning how to avoid a future that includes diabetes, the team at Intermountain Health hopes people will recognize the value as being worth at least a couple of hours of time.

As part of an ongoing resource available to anyone in the community, Intermountain Health regularly offers free prediabetes classes in both St. George and Cedar City, as well as virtual classes. Each class is taught by a registered dietitian, a certified diabetes educator, or a certified health education specialist.

“Anybody is welcome to attend, and the classes are completely free,” said Ben Hermansen, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with Intermountain Medical Group. “The focus of the class is on prediabetes and preventing diabetes, specifically Type 2 Diabetes.”

While diabetes is a complex health condition, these classes aim to break down the condition into understandable pieces, including how the conditions are diagnosed, how blood sugars work in the body, risk factors for insulin resistance and complications associated with high blood sugars.

“The class is dedicated to outlining best practices and evidence-based guidelines for preventing diabetes,” Hermansen said. “I believe the class does a good job of helping people understand that even if diabetes runs in your family, individuals can make a big difference in reducing their risk of diabetes by implementing positive diet and lifestyle changes.”

Some participants are surprised to learn that these changes don’t have to be extreme in order to be effective.

“A prominent theme of the class is that it doesn’t take a drastic overhaul of lifestyle habits or the adoption of a draconian diet or exercise regimen to see improvements in diabetes markers,” Hermansen said. “In fact, as class members are taught about gradual and realistic changes that can improve their health, it empowers individuals in creating a personalized strategy that is motivating and sustainable to them.”

In other words, this is not about finding a “quick fix” or “Band-Aid solution” to the problem. This is about establishing new lifelong habits.

The classes are taught as stand-alone one-time courses, covering the basics in about two hours.

A person does not need a diagnosis for diabetes or prediabetes in order to attend. It is open to anyone.

Some may want to use this class as a springboard into more ongoing and long-term support and resources, Hermansen said, including The Weigh to Health, Intermountain Health’s CDC approved Diabetes Prevention Program that provides long-term support in helping individuals prevent diabetes.

On the whole, Hermansen said the feedback he’s receive from people participating in the classes has been very positive.

“(They say) the information and ideas gained from the class gives them a clear vision and practical application for how to get started on their way to better health,” Hermansen said. “For many individuals there is a certain level of worry, fear, or frustration with a diagnosis that can seem overwhelming. I love seeing attendees leave the classes with a renewed sense of empowerment, hopefulness, and resolve.”

There are four in-person prediabetes classes offered in Washington County and two in Cedar City, as well as two virtual classes offered each month. Classes are free and open to the public, but Intermountain Health asks that attendees register ahead of time.

For a complete list of class times and locations, or to register online, visit or by calling 385-282-2550.

About Intermountain Health

Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see

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