Diabetes Alert day, held the 4th Tuesday of March each year, is a day of awareness sponsored by the American Diabetes Association that strives to be a “wake up call” for Americans. The day encourages you to take the diabetes risk assessment online to analyze whether you’re at risk for Type 2 diabetes. The test asks questions about diabetes risk factors like weight, age, and family history and plugs the information into an algorithm to determine your risk level.
Diabetes affects nearly 26 million children and adults in the US. 7 million people have diabetes but don’t know about it. And an additional 76 million adults – 1 in every 3 – has prediabetes, which puts them at risk for type 2 diabetes.
By managing weight, eating a healthy balanced diet, and exercising enough each week, we can help prevent many of these cases of Type 2 diabetes. If you’re overweight, even losing just 7% of your body weight can help prevent diabetes – that’s only about 18 pounds if you weigh 250 pounds. Certainly an attainable goal!
And this year, with every diabetes risk test taken for the next month (March 27th through April 27th), Boars Head is donating $5 to the American Diabetes Association. So even if you think you’re not at risk, hop on and take the test anyway – you’re 10 minutes is equal to a $5 donation to the American Diabetes Association!
Check out the ADA Facebook Page
or visit their website
and click on the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test to find out your risk for Type 2 diabetes!
Want to do more to support diabetes research and education? Consider joining our North Shore Tour de Cure team
! On May 20th, 2012, we’ll be participating in a 100 mile bike ride on the north shore of Massachusett – and we’d love for any of our wonderful blog readers to join our team and ride with us. You don’t have to do the full 100 mile ride if you don’t want to either – there’s also a 15 mile option, 30 mile option, and 62 mile (metric century 100K) option. Don’t want to ride? Consider donating
a small amount of money to support the American Diabetes Association.
Paula Deen’s type 2 diabetes diagnosis has got the nutrition world (and rest of the world, for that matter) divided into 2 sides: the “that’s what butter and bacon will do to you” side and the “she’s a normal person who doesn’t deserve all this criticism so leave her alone” side. I’ve been sitting on the sidelines the past few days, but decided it’s time to share my opinion.
Paula is no doubt a sweet lady. She’s a family woman who has always exuded Southern hospitality. She cares about her children and making other people happy. She’s never claimed her recipes are healthy, and has mentioned the concept of moderation. Does she deserve to have tons of people shoving a health diagnosis in her face? Of course not. News articles criticizing every recipe and telling her how poor her habits are? That’s a bit harsh.
That being said…Do I think Paula’s history of fat-laden, unhealthy recipes and its subsequent effect on her weight may have played a part in her diabetes diagnosis? Yes, at least to some degree. Type 2 diabetes is multifaceted, being caused by a multitude of factors. Overweight and obesity, poor diet, and lack of exercise are a few of these factors. Genetics and family history are also factors too, though.
Do I think her view of moderation and mine are a little different? Yes, I do. A bacon cheeseburger stuffed between two glazed donuts is not a food that should be enjoyed in “moderation.” That’s a once a year dish right there. But Paula’s not a dietitian and not a doctor, so should we have been looking to her for guidance on how to eat? No. She’s a chef, and hasn’t ever claimed anything more.
Do I think the timing of her public announcement of her diagnosis has anything to do with her being paid as a spokesperson for Noro Novodisk, a prominent diabetes pharmaceutical company? Yes, probably. I understand wanting to wrap your head around a big health diagnosis before sharing it. And honestly, it’s a personal decision whether to even share it with the world. However, it does seem very coincidental that there was already a paid promotional opportunity lined up. But Paula, and all of us, are in a business world. If you were offered money to talk about a health issue you had, would you take it? Maybe or maybe not - but it’s not surprising that some choose to. When the cast of the Jersey Shore is making money getting trashed and sleeping around, I’d say Paula’s decision to accept an offer to be the face of diabetes is less reprehensible.
At the heart of all this talk, I think it brings to light an important issue - at some point, each one of us needs to take an honest look at our personal choices and assess whether it may impact our health. Personal responsibility is an essential component of diet and lifestyle. We can sue McDonald’s all we want for making people obese, claim that restaurant’s oversized portions are causing us to gain weight, or pick brownies over fruit because it tastes better – but we are the ones stepping in the door to those places, ordering those foods, and choosing those snacks. Some of us are in situations where it is more difficult to make healthy choices (lack of money, lack of affordable fresh foods, unsafe neighborhoods, etc) – but all of us have some control and willpower over our health.
On a final note - I am always one for empowering people. I’m a supporter of healthy choices, positive body images, and increasing self-efficacy for making healthy choices. Let’s pause from knocking Paula, and acknowledge that she brings the issue of personal responsibility to light. Let’s take a look at our own behaviors and choices. No one is perfect, myself included. Let’s encourage Paula to change her lifestyle while we work to do the same.
Throughout the day, you’ve seen some important information and statistics about diabetes in support of World Diabetes Day. I also talked a little about my cousin Ben in the last post. He’s a hilarious kid – a typical 7 year old who giggles about farts, loves making people laugh, and who also happens to have Type 1 diabetes. Check out this picture of him below, checking his blood sugar at school:
Imagine being 7 years old and having to check your sugar levels, get pricked by needles, go to tons of doctors’ appointments, and have to think about what’s going to happen to your body before you put any snack in your mouth. That’s a typical day for him, and he handles it like a champ. When my aunt asked him what he would tell someone just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, he replied “I would say ‘push through it and you can do anything.’”
So now for the fun personal news, related to Ben and World Diabetes Day…
I’m excited to announce that Inspired Wellness Solutions has officially formed a team to compete in the 100 mile century ride for the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure
! The Tour de Cure is a fundraising bike ride that is held in many locations throughout the United States. The funds raised support diabetes research, education, and hope to eventually find a cure for diabetes.
The North Shore Tour de Cure
(the MA event we are participating in) will take place on May 20, 2012 and has 15, 30, 62, and 100 mile options. While myself and my fiancé, Terry, are tackling the 100 mile Gran Fondo, our team is open to anyone who wants to join us for any distance in this fun event. This is a great way to support an important cause while also improving your own health and wellness.
Terry and Ben in Cleveland this past May, when we visited them while in town for the Cleveland Marathon.
As a special treat, anyone from Massachusetts who participates with the Inspired Wellness Solutions team and meets the Tour de Cure minimum fundraising requirements (just $200!) will receive a $50 gift certificate to put towards any of our individual
nutrition and fitness counseling services! This can be put towards the cost of web-based or in-person nutrition counseling, meal planning, supermarket tours, and more.
We are excited to ride in support of Ben and all the other people out there who have diabetes. Please consider joining our team
or donating money
in support of our team and the American Diabetes Association (all donations are tax deductible). When you visit our team page, you can click on the “join team” link or click on any of our names to donate money. Ben, we can't wait to “push through” this bike ride for you!
Don't you want to help him find a cure for diabetes?
Do you know the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes? According to my 7 year old cousin, Ben, “only losers don’t know the difference between Type 1 and Type 2” (haha). Ben has Type 1 diabetes and handles it remarkably. Since today is World Diabetes Day, I thought I’d share some insight on the differences between these two types. This way in case you ever run into Ben, you can assure him that you’re definitely not a loser.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas does not produce insulin. Without insulin, the body is unable to move blood sugar (glucose) into the body’s cells where it is needed for energy production. Both high and low blood sugar levels can result in many dangerous symptoms. Because of this, people with type 1 diabetes are required to carefully assess carbohydrates at each meal and balance this with insulin shots or use of an insulin pump.
According to the American Diabetes Association, only 5% of people with diabetes have Type 1. Type 1 diabetes is not caused by lifestyle, diet, exercise or weight – although physical activity and a balanced diet can be important tools after diagnosis to help manage blood sugar levels in combination with an insulin regimen. There is currently no cure for Type 1 diabetes, and people with this type will always require insulin throughout life until a cure is found.
Type 2 diabetes is related to a multitude of factors – some of which include diet, weight, and exercise. While once known as “adult onset” diabetes, this condition is more often being diagnosed in children due to increasing rates of overweight/obesity in youth. In Type 2 diabetes, the body’s cells do not respond to insulin that is produced and/or the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. With lifestyle changes, people with Type 2 diabetes may be able to reduce their medications and can sometimes even control their diabetes with diet and exercise alone.
If you have either type of diabetes and need help controlling your blood sugar, be sure to see your doctor and a registered dietitian to help you!
Today, November 14th, 2011 is World Diabetes Day. People around the world are coming together to educate people about diabetes and support funding for diabetes research and education. In support of the day, I’ll have a few posts about diabetes facts, figures, and information, as well as some personal fun news to share tonight (stay tuned!).
To start, a few sobering statistics from the American Diabetes Association:
- 25.8 million children and adults suffer from diabetes. This is equal to 8.3% of the population.
- Another 79 million people have prediabetes, or elevated blood glucose levels that could progress into Type 2 diabetes without healthy lifestyle changes.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults.
- 60 to 70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage.
- In 2007, the total medical cost of diagnosed diabetes was estimated at $174 billion dollars.
These are shocking numbers and illustrate how significant this health problem is in our country!