Supervalu Inc. is slated to launch a health and wellness program that takes aim at diabetes and links the food and pharmacy departments.

Supervalu, Living Healthy With My Diabetes, Diabetes, pharmacy, prediabetes, health and wellness, supermarket, Chris Dimos, diabetes education, blood glucose screenings, health screenings, American Diabetes Month

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Supervalu plans wellness program for diabetes

November 1st, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS – Supervalu Inc. is slated to launch a health and wellness program that takes aim at diabetes and links the food and pharmacy departments.

Called "Living Healthy With My Diabetes," the program serves up a menu of resources to make life easier for customers with diabetes, including educational materials, health screening tests, group and individual diabetes education and training programs, medication management consultations, nutrition information, dietary tools, products and other services.

Supervalu, which describes the initiative as a "whole store" program, said Living Healthy With My Diabetes will be available nationwide at its family of food and drug stores, including Acme, Albertsons, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's/Star Market, Shop 'n Save, and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy.

Plans call for Supervalu to kick off the program with special, limited-time offers between Nov. 7 and Nov. 20 in recognition of American Diabetes Month. Offers will include free blood glucose test screenings in selected pharmacy locations on Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; health screenings for A1C, cholesterol and liver function for $19.99; and savings booklets for discounts on diabetes-related products.

Living Healthy With My Diabetes elements available year-round include "Eating Healthy with Diabetes" store tours guided by specially trained pharmacists and registered dietitians that cover such topics as choosing healthier foods, reading Nutrition Facts labels and identifying better-for-you food options, as well as diabetes-friendly menu ideas and recipes, which can be accessed online through store web sites, and general nutrition information from registered dietitians.

Also available throughout the year are in-store pharmacy services including diabetes education, diabetes self-management services, blood glucose screenings, blood pressure monitoring and face-to-face medication reviews along with diabetes products such as equaline test strips, glucose tablets, blood pressure monitors, lancets, and latex and vinyl gloves.

"Our neighborhood grocery stores are uniquely positioned to be a one-stop solution for people with diabetes," Chris Dimos, president of pharmacy operations at Supervalu, said in a statement. "In addition to offering nutritious foods in our grocery aisles, our pharmacists and dietitians can help educate customers, provide personalized training and guide them to the information, products and services they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The program is part of our commitment to provide convenient, affordable health and wellness solutions to our customers."

The supermarket operator noted that in-store pharmacies play a key role in health and wellness issues as consumers are increasingly putting their trust in them to help meet their medical needs. A December 2009 Gallup Poll showed that 66% of respondents rated pharmacists "very high" or "high" when asked about honesty and ethical standards, second only to nurses among the top five most highly rated professions.

"Beyond the pharmacy, our stores offer tips and tools to help customers living with diabetes better manage their diets," Dimos stated. "Managing diabetes with a food plan is about understanding the importance of balanced nutrition and choosing from a variety of food groups throughout the day. Our stores offer the resources that people with diabetes need to enjoy controlled portions of foods from every food group, so they can eat what they love, balanced with what they need."

Supervalu cited research finding that 26 million Americans have diabetes, with the disease currently affecting 11.3% of U.S. adults, and if those trends continue, nearly 37 million will have diabetes by 2015, including 15% of adults. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 57 million Americans now have prediabetes, which puts them at risk for developing diabetes, as well as heart disease and stroke, in future years.

The total estimated cost of diabetes in the United States is $174 billion in excess medical spending, disability, work loss and premature mortality, according to CDC data reported by Supervalu.