Training Leaders to Train: Networking to End Diabetes

Wellness Center Feature

October's graduating Wellness class was 18 people strong—and the results were phenomenal. The class collectively lost 76 pounds—"the equivalent of losing a ten year old child in weight," Wellness Center Director Ray House said cheekily.

The class was made up of four church groups and one community group. The Wellness Center intentionally led this diabetes reversal class for these church and community leaders so that they, in turn, could lead classes for their communities. This method sees the most effective use of resources, and is the best way to reverse the epidemic of diabetes in the Marshall Islands.

While the class may have lost a lot of weight, the real focus of the class was on diet. Specifically, a high fiber, plant-based diet. The class ate three meals per day at the Wellness Center, and no one complained about being hungry. It's incredible to lose so much weight without eating less.

"That's the power of eating foods high in fiber that you get from plants," said Assistant Director and Dietitian Becky House. Beans, greens, fruits, vegetables—these foods keep you feeling full longer.

Ten of the class members started the 10-day course with diabetic blood sugar levels. At the end of the classes, five of those had lowered their blood sugar levels to non-diabetic levels. And how did the class feel afterward? They reported more energy, faster injury healing, more strength, regular bowel movements, less pain, and all-around higher levels of happiness.

We expect the classes they lead to feel just as they did.

If you'd like more information on how to get involved, visit our volunteer or donation pages.