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Lessons from Diabetes Day

Posted by by, Kari Yorek, nutrition/dietetic intern
Thursday, August 2, 2012

As a dietetic student intern for Lunds and Byerly’s, I’ve learned about nutrition, healthy eating, and special diet requirements for celiac disease, diabetes and lactose intolerance. Even with my background knowledge on diabetes, the Diabetes Day event we held at Lunds Central was an eye-opener for me into the world of diabetes. Here’s a little bit of what I took away from the event:

This generation’s children are the first to potentially have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. This may come as a surprise to some, but with childhood obesity more than tripling in the past 30 years, it seems to make sense.

Not only is obesity rising drastically for children, but more than one third of U.S. adults are obese. These statistics are frightening and dangerous. One of the most common obesity related diseases is type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, but most people aren’t aware they have this condition.

With type 2 diabetes on the rise, we thought it would be a good idea to hold a diabetes health fair to promote awareness, prevention and treatment for diabetes. We had a whole army of experts, including representatives from Bayer, the YMCA, Novo Nordisk, our registered dietitian, Janice Cox, the Lunds Central FoodE Expert and pharmacist answering questions, providing diabetes information and handing out diabetic-friendly recipes.

I learned a lot from Diabetes Day and you could tell that our customers did, too. Some customers’ blood glucose levels came as a shock to them, which made me realize how important it is to be screened for diabetes. Here are some facts about diabetes that are good to know:

• 7 million people have diabetes, but are undiagnosed.
• 79 million people have pre-diabetes.
• Diabetes should be taken very seriously. If you are pre-diabetic or have diabetes, you should schedule regular visits to your doctor and closely monitor your blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol and weight.
• Diabetes can lead to other complications such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease and neuropathy.
• Healthy lifestyle changes are important for reducing the progression of type 2 diabetes and for controlling type 1 diabetes.
• Changing your diet and being more physically active is the best way to prevent or slow the progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes.

Diabetes Day was a great success. I encourage you to visit Janice Cox, our registered dietitian at Byerly’s Ridgedale, to answer any of your diabetes or nutrition-related questions.

Tags: diabetesdietitianhealth

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