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Adapting Diabetes Prevention Program in Southwest Minnesota

By Anne Dybsetter, Extension Educator — Health & Nutrition

Latino and Somali community members in Southwest Minnesota are learning how to prevent diabetes as part of the cultural adaptation of I CAN Prevent Diabetes (ICANPD), a diabetes prevention program for people with prediabetes.

SNAP-Ed Educators Leticia Rodriguez in Worthington and Abdulahi Dohe in Willmar are testing strategies to adapt the program for different cultural audiences. For example, Leticia and Abdulahi used video and audio teaching tools. They also identified cultural teachings that match curriculum content, such as traditional sayings that encourage exercise or healthy eating. For instance, Islamic hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) encourage being moderate, eating slowly, and filling one’s stomach “one third with food, one third with water, and one third with air.”

Word of the ICANPD program is spreading. Latino participants in Worthington, who have now completed the year-long ICANPD class, expressed an eagerness to share what they have learned with neighbors and family, and encourage others to participate in the program themselves. Abdulahi and I presented early findings from the cultural adaptation at two recent conferences: the University of Minnesota's Grand Challenges Conference in March and the National Health Outreach Conference in Roanoke, Virginia, in April.

And the work will continue! Minnesota Department of Health is partnering with Extension and SNAP-Ed to provide support and funding for the project. ICANPD is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Prevention Program.

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