November is Diabetes Awareness Month. It’s goal to bring attention to this fast growing, incurable, but sometimes preventable disease. For example, healthy lifestyle changes, such as healthy weight loss and increased physical activity, can prevent or delay onset of type 2 diabetes among adults at high risk, and effective interventions are available to reduce the incidence of diabetes complications.
Both local and global events such as walks, marathons and nutritional ‘makeovers’ have been scheduled to get the word out and to raise funds for research and treatment.
World Diabetes Day
World Diabetes Day (WDD) is November 14, and this year marks the first observance of WDD by the United Nations. The 2007 WDD campaign aims to raise awareness of the impact of diabetes on children and adolescents.
In the United States, in 2005, approximately 176,500 persons aged <20 years had diabetes; approximately 25% of persons aged 10–19 years with diabetes had multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
Studies show that people at high risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease. Just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity, coupled with a 5-10% reduction in body weight, produced a 58% reduction in diabetes. Additionally, some people’s blood glucoses levels returned to normal range.
But don’t knock yourself out! Losing weight slowly and moderately increasing exercise is the key. The National Diabetes Education Program offers downloadable brochures to help you take “small steps that lead to big rewards” in preventing diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (you tube video below) also offers tools for making healthy food choices, exercise and diabetes, and encourages the public to join or organize “Step Out to Fight Diabetes” walking events.
Take a look as some photos of the 2006 Global Diabetes walk which even took place in some unexpected countries like Afghanistan and Cameroon.
So why not join or organize a walking group in your area this World Diabetes Day on November 14th? All you need is a few friends and/or family members. It’s a great way to raise awareness and fight this very preventable disease!