The Edmond Sun


March 15, 2014

Diabetes Center program helps participants lose weight and gain a healthy lifestyle

NORMAN — Three months into 2014, most who resolved to lose weight or lead a healthier lifestyle have long since abandoned those changes, but not so for participants of a relatively new program at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma.

 The program is called Small Steps, Big Changes, established by Diabetes Center healthcare professionals as a diabetes prevention program that also empowers participants to live healthier through nutritional planning and exercise education.

 “Diabetes can overwhelm those at risk of developing it; but it can be prevented with a few changes to a person’s diet and by becoming more physically active,” said Steve Sternlof, Ph.D., licensed psychologist at Harold Hamm Diabetes Center. “Educating people to prevent diabetes through a healthy lifestyle is the closest thing we have to curing it.”

 Sternlof and his colleagues at the Diabetes Center believed the program could have a major impact on those who participated and would translate into increased healthcare savings for all involved, including the state of Oklahoma.  They were right on both counts.

 Floyd Brassfield is a prime example of its success for participants. He enrolled in the Small Steps, Big Changes program to gain a new perspective on healthy living, but it’s what he lost that has been his biggest reward.

 “Since joining the program, I have lost over 42 pounds and continue to lose weight on a weekly basis. The knowledge and accountability my coaches offer in this program has had a major impact on how I think about food, nutrition, and overall health,” Brassfield said.

 The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation issued a report last year that noted a five percent reduction in body mass index, on average, for Oklahomans, would mean a reduction in the state’s healthcare costs of $7.4 billion by 2030.

 “If we could help people lose weight, we knew we could not only prevent diabetes but also a number of obesity-related health issues. It was a natural fit for us to help curb the diabetes and obesity epidemics,” said Sternlof.  

 According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk for developing diabetes drops by 58 percent if a person can reduce his or her body weight by seven to ten percent. Floyd accomplished this goal by week eight of the program.  

 “I joined the program because I have a family history of type 2 diabetes and wanted to avoid gastric bypass surgery, something I thought was going to be my last option,” he said.

 Floyd credits the 16-week course with teaching him how to plan a healthy meal, read food labels more accurately, and replace high calorie foods with healthy alternatives.  

 “I’ve been a part of weight loss programs in the past, but this one has taught me to think differently about food and has given me an incentive to stop dieting and start living with a different mentality about what I eat,” he said.

 The Diabetes Center hopes the program can help turn around some sobering statistics in Oklahoma, which currently ranks fourth in the nation for diabetes prevalence. Diabetes-related healthcare costs to the state top $3.25 billion per year, according to the Oklahoma State  Department of Health.

 The Small Steps, Big Changes curriculum was developed by the Diabetes Prevention Program, a Center for Disease Control initiative that has proven to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 60 percent.  

 “If we can prevent diabetes before it begins to affect more people, we can effectively save lives and save millions of dollars in healthcare costs,” Sternlof added.

 To learn more about the Small Steps, Big Changes program, visit the center’s website at or call  271-5624. Sessions are offered during the morning, afternoon, and evening.      

 The Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma is a world leader in eradicating diabetes through innovative research focused on progress toward a cure, dramatically improved patient care, and strategies aimed at the prevention of diabetes.

Text Only
  • peach formatted.jpg Hard year for peaches doesn’t dampen summer tradition  

    A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they’ve come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.”
    Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, might beg to differ. Even so, Porter is known for its peaches, and every year thousands of people flood this town of about 600 residents to taste and celebrate the local crop during the three-day Peach Festival.
    Like the aging water tower, Porter’s peach industry isn’t as vibrant as it once was.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Final step to train toddler with baby on way

    Q: Using your advice, I successfully toilet-trained my daughter by age 16 months. It is now three months later and we are still using diapers at naps and nighttime. At her nap, which lasts several hours, she fully soaks her diaper. At night, she is taking off her diaper prior to falling asleep, wetting the bed after she goes to sleep and then crying for us when she wakes up in a pool of pee. Is this a sign that I should begin night training? I'm hesitant to do this because I am 8 months pregnant and don't relish the idea of waking up several times a night to take her to the bathroom and tending to a newborn as well. I would prefer to continue using diapers until she is old enough to get out of bed and take herself to the potty (even a potty in her room). Is this unrealistic? Or should I just deal with the extra night wakings and start taking her to the potty a few times a night now? If not, how do I keep her diaper on at night?

    July 25, 2014

  • Living Smart: How landscaping can deter intruders, pests

    Done right, landscaping can do much more than attract compliments and boost your property value. It can help you repel intruders, both human and natural.
    Landscaping experts who’ve earned high marks from Angie’s List members say overgrown bushes and shrubs are like welcome mats to burglars. Keep plants and trees trimmed. Place thorny but attractive bougainvillea or barberry bushes under windows, sending would-be thieves a sharp message to go elsewhere.

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-26 YARD OF THE WEEK.jpg Ganns earn Yard of the Week honors

    This week’s “Edmond Yard of the Week” winner has been in existence for 44 years at 105 Barbara Drive, but looks fresh and new thanks to longtime residents Betty and Gordon Gann as they fill their garden spaces to overflowing with colors and textures.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Discard the boredom of family game night

    We’re all about families having fun together, and game night is one of the best ways to do that. But playing the same games over and over can get a little stale. So in the interests of injecting a little more fun into your family’s game night, here are some great choices that will keep you and yours engaged and laughing.

    July 25, 2014

  • What’s normal age for voice change?

    Q: When is it normal for a boy’s voice to change? My son is 10, and his voice is getting deeper every day.
    A.: “It’s a very variable process,” says pediatrician Bonnie Miller, associate director of general pediatrics at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y.. “Puberty will begin as early as age 9. Generally with the advent of puberty, the voice box changes.”

    July 25, 2014

  • IMG_2996.JPG Krazy Daze hits downtown Edmond

    Newly transplanted Edmond residents Hannah Brenning, Cheyenne Middle School 8th grader; Jordan Brenning, Cross Timbers 4th grader; and Sydney Brenning, North High School freshman; check out the items in front of Sterling's in downtown Edmond during the Krazy Daze Sale lasting through Saturday. Businesses will open their doors at 10 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Living history presented at metropolitan libraries

    Hear stories of pace setting women in different eras throughout history. Biographies of Wild West trailblazers, The Harvey Girls, WWII assembly line champion-Rosie the Riveter, mail order bride Mary Elizabeth Walker, and Oklahoma society lady Stella Louise Wilson-Johnson will be reenacted by gifted and prolific storyteller Barbara Byrd.
    Stella Louise Wilson-Johnson was the wife of a prominent Guthrie attorney who shares her experiences and adventures during the early days of Oklahoma statehood. Her presentation will be at 7 p.m. Monday, July 28, Edmond Library, 10 S. Boulevard. For more information, visit

    July 25, 2014

  • Preparing for a fall home garden

    Gardening can be a year-around activity for those that have an appreciation for fresh and nutritious vegetables. Some of the best vegetables in Oklahoma are produced and harvested during the cooler weather of fall. Successful fall gardens, however, require some work in the summer growing season. Factors to be considered are location, soil preparation, crops to be grown and how/when to plant.  
    The major consideration for garden placement is sunlight. All vegetables require some sunlight; the most popular vegetables require full sun. “Full” sun means at least 8 hours of intense, direct exposure.

    July 24, 2014

  • Fall gardening season has arrived

    Even though the temperature is hot and there are still summer vacations on the calendar, it is time to start thinking about planting your fall garden.
    Most Oklahoma gardeners are still reaping the rewards of their spring gardens, said David Hillock, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension consumer horticulturist, but it is not too early to plan for fall gardening crops.

    July 23, 2014