NYACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 40 percent of U.S. adults will develop Type 2 diabetes, and that number is even higher at more than 50 percent for the Hispanic population.

As CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported Sunday night, Nyack Hospital recently launched a program to help Latin American women lower their risk.

Hopping on the scale isn’t so scary anymore for Delia Garcia. Using an interpreter, the mother of three explained how she is shedding the pounds.

“What I like about the group is that they taught us how to eat in a more healthy way,” she said.

The Spring Valley woman joined the Nyack Hospital program “¡Mámas Maravillosas!” last year. It is a weight loss support group for Spanish-speaking mothers of all ages in Rockland County.

“I’ve lost 9 pounds during the time I was in the group,” Garcia said through an interpreter.

The weekly program is also intended to help the women lower their risk of Type 2 diabetes. The goal is for the women to lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight – and it’s not easy.

“These women have a lot of challenges to making changes – financial issues, family difficulties,” said Elizabeth Staum, community health educator for Nyack Hospital.

Staum runs the free program, and says the key to their success is making sure the participants feel comfortable – which is why all sessions are spoken in Spanish.

“We have sort of a facilitated discussion, so it’s not just me teaching them and saying, ‘You need to do this and this and this,’” Staum said. “It’s about women sharing their experiences, learning from each other, and feeling supported in making these changes in their lives.”

There are no other programs in Rockland County like this one. In four years, the program has already helped nearly 40 mothers and their families lead healthier lifestyles.

“It’s not just teaching the mom, because actually, we all know moms are at the center of how their family’s eating. But now the children are learning at a younger age also how to eat right,” a representative said.

The group is currently recruiting participants for their next season. If you are interested in joining, click here.

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