Too Deadly For Diabetes program coming to Dubbo Aboriginal Medical Service

Real results: Coonamble Aboriginal Health Service CEO Phil Naden, Too Deadly For Diabetes founder Ray Kelly, with Dubbo AMS staff Jaime Keed and Cherie Forgione. Photo: Belinda Soole.
Real results: Coonamble Aboriginal Health Service CEO Phil Naden, Too Deadly For Diabetes founder Ray Kelly, with Dubbo AMS staff Jaime Keed and Cherie Forgione. Photo: Belinda Soole.

A program supporting Aboriginal communities across the central west achieve great results with reversing type 2 diabetes will soon launch in Dubbo.

The Too Deadly for Diabetes program was founded by Kamilaroi man and accredited exercise physiologist, Ray Kelly.

Mr Kelly travels to communities to work with local Aboriginal Medical Services and the community to provide localised programs that can prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes.

"It's all just based around fresh, unprocessed food and moving more," he explained, adding that participants are given a meal plan to follow and are supported by an online portal with multiple resources.

"Support is critical and we teach them how to keep it off, so it's not just about losing weight..."

Mr Kelly has taken the program to Bourke, Brewarrina and Walgett with successful results and just recently launched it in Coonamble and next week at Dubbo.

He spoke about the results of those on the program, including one lady from Walgett who lost three kilograms in the first week and no longer needs insulin, something she had been using for 15 years.

The former Biggest Loser Australia external trainer is currently undertaking a PhD on the reversal of type 2 diabetes in Aboriginal communities.

"If people don't change their lifestyle all doctors have is medication and the problem with medication is it lowers blood sugars but doesn't fix the cause of the disease... so with exercise and changing diet you can turn it around in weeks," Mr Kelly said.

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Coonamble Aboriginal Health Service CEO Phil Naden was excited for the health centres to jump on board with the program that will run over three blocks of 10 weeks over 12 months.

"It's time to look at outcomes for our community and have someone involved in the practicalities of achieving real results," he said.

Mr Naden said it was important for their patients to have a healthy lifestyle but also be able to identify any chronic diseases they may have.

"Plus provide them with alternatives around what else they can do other than be on medication," he said.

Type 2 diabetes is a prominent condition that affects many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Mr Naden said.

Shari Piras, Catherine Noble, Phil Naden, Ray Kelly, Cherie Forgione Jaime Keed, Kirbie Ewers and Bo Blackhall. Photo: Belinda Soole

Shari Piras, Catherine Noble, Phil Naden, Ray Kelly, Cherie Forgione Jaime Keed, Kirbie Ewers and Bo Blackhall. Photo: Belinda Soole

So far 15 people in Coonamble have already signed up to the program and the Dubbo health service is looking for locals to register their interest.

"We encourage people who don't see drastic changes in the first 10 weeks to join the second round and so on. If we see really good results after the 12 months program there are long-terms goals for us to have some sustainability in running the program full-time," Mr Naden said.

Members of the Dubbo Aboriginal Health Service will also be participating in Mr Kelly's program in a inter-staff challenge promoting good lifestyle choices.