The Nutrition Education Program is dedicated to empowering patients to make long-lasting lifestyle changes that will improve their health. Most of the patients participating in the program suffer from diabetes or are at risk of developing it.
The clinic diagnoses about 100 new cases each year. People’s Nutrition Education Program enables patients and their families to better manage health conditions affected by nutrition. The program provides counseling, educational services, low-cost equipment, and medications so that patients can effectively monitor their conditions.
People’s nutritionists work closely with the clinic’s medical staff to offer nutrition education and one-on-one consultations for patients. Each consultation incorporates visuals, food models, easy-to-understand handouts, and healthy low-cost recipes to help patients gain confidence and develop their self-management skills. Through improved nutrition, patients can reduce complications from chronic conditions and enjoy better health outcomes. The program works in conjunction with the University of Texas at Austin’s Family Wellness Center to offer group sessions for diabetic patients that foster a community of support among fellow patients while providing education and opportunities to connect with a variety of members of the healthcare team. Each participant is offered unlimited follow-up consultations with the nutritionist to further discuss any areas of interest or concern.
Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a condition in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy, especially during third trimester of pregnancy. Gestational Diabetes classes and counseling are available weekly for newly diagnosed GDM patients. Untreated or poorly treated GDM results in higher risk of morbidity and mortality for both mother and infant. Women who develop GDM are at 40-60% risk for later developing Type 2 diabetes, but following an appropriate meal plan may prevent or delay this.
The nutrition team also offers breastfeeding counseling. Breastfeeding provides the best nutrition for a growing baby, and has proven to have numerous health advantages for mother and child. People’s Breastfeeding Counselor sees patients both during pregnancy and after delivery to answer questions and assist women in overcoming potential barriers to breastfeeding. Since the start of the lactation program, the number of mothers who have chosen to continue breastfeeding at 6 months after delivery has increased substantially.