National Diabetes Awareness Month

Every 23 seconds another American is diagnosed with diabetes.

Every 23 seconds – that’s more than 2 people every minute. That’s a whopping 120 people every hour, 2,880-per day, 20,160-per week, 86,400-per month and 1,036,800-per year. That’s a lot of people! But what those statistics don’t tell you is how many go undiagnosed, it’s said to be nearly as many or more people with undiagnosed diabetes and even more yet with pre-diabetes. It also doesn’t tell how many young people, children and adolescents, are being impacted by this disease years before generations ago.

It has become commonplace for someone to be diagnosed with diabetes and often not at an advanced age as it has used to be – now younger and younger people are diagnosed, often children as young as pre-school and kindergarten. Why? It has to do with the high rate of obesity in this country and worldwide.

What can we do?
We can consume a healthy, balanced (and portion-controlled) diet, stay within a healthy weight and adhere to an active lifestyle. Those are all things that work against developing diabetes.

And, for those with Type 2 diabetes due to being overweight or obese, it can come down to losing as little as just 5 pound to help improve blood sugar levels. And, it is possible to lower and reduce medications entirely when done in conjunction with weight loss and consultation with one’s doctor or certified diabetes educator. I’ve seen it many, many times over the years and can attest the benefits healthy eating has on diabetes. It is not a life sentence and should not be considered unmanageable.

Since November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, I wanted to share one of the first experiences I had with helping people with diabetes through Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating. I was in attendance at an event hosted by the American Diabetes Association, where I exhibited information about our meals. I showcased the meals, the nutritional information and was able to answer questions from attendees – registered dietitians. I was impressed that time and again, how many stopped by and said how helpful the meals were for their patients with Type 2 Diabetes. This lifted my spirits for weeks following the event. I knew we could help people with diabetes and this was first-hand proof!

Our goal should not be adding medications, for those who are overweight, rather to lose weight, thus lower blood sugar count and A1C levels. This should be done with a portion-controlled diet and can be done.

Interested in this topic and want more information? Visit the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) website ADA’s mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.