KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Managing diabetes is tough. Knox County offers a program that is helping those susceptible to diabetes to put their health first. 

The Knox County Health Department has a free 12-month program that is helping people manage the onset of life-changing diseases.

The Diabetes Prevention Program called “Eat Smart, Move More Prevent Diabetes Online” offers live virtual classes, with tips and education on eating well to maintain blood sugar levels. The support is weekly to help people reach their goals.

“Diabetes is a chronic, long-lasting disease that currently has no cure. And so, it requires often regular visits with a doctor and taking medications often and paying attention to how many carbohydrates you’re eating at each meal,” said Kaela Mclver with KCHD. “So, this program helps people make healthier changes, like eating healthier and losing weight to prevent getting type 2 diabetes.”

Not everyone qualifies for the program.

In order to know if you are eligible for the program, a participant must live or work in Knox County and meet the following criteria:

  • No previous diagnosis of diabetes
  • Body Mass Index over 25 (or 23 if of Asian descent)

The participant must also have one of the following:

  • History of gestational diabetes
  • A score of 5 or higher on the Risk Test
  • Blood glucose testing
    • A1C between 5.7-6.4
    • Fasting glucose between 100-125

To find out if you qualify for a free spot in the program, visit surveymonkey.com/r/DPPdoiqualify. Also, contact nutrition@knoxcounty.org or call 865-215-5170 for any questions.

The health department also hosts a number of free health and wellness programs.