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'Dining with Diabetes' Can Help You Manage Daily Living

Posted: May 6, 2013

The Penn State Extension Dining With Diabetes program helps people with type 2 diabetes identify and understand important information about managing and preventing this disease.

Over the past decade, there have been many changes in the world of diabetes. The number of individuals who have this serious disease is growing so rapidly that it is now considered an epidemic.

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have estimated that from 1980 through 2005, the number of Americans with diabetes increased from 5.6 million to 15.8 million. Diabetes continues to be the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

Diabetes now affects nearly 26 million Americans – or 8.3 percent of the U.S. population – and more than 7 million of those people do not know they have diabetes, according to the latest prevalence data released by the CDC.

Another 41 million people are estimated to have pre-diabetes, a condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes – the most common form of the disease – as well as heart disease and stroke.

Diabetes is a leading cause of adult blindness, lower-limb amputation, kidney disease, and nerve damage. Two-thirds of people with diabetes die from a heart attack or stroke.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 991,000 adults in Pennsylvania have diabetes. This number represents approximately 10 percent of the population.

Pennsylvania is also one of the top ten states in the nation whose population with diabetes has the highest percentage (70.9) with elevated A1c levels.

In addition, 29 percent of Pennsylvania’s population is considered obese and only 51 percent are getting the recommended level of physical activity. Both obesity and physical inactivity have been directly correlated to the development of Type 2 diabetes.

While these facts paint a bleak picture, there is good news. Recent studies have shown that with proper diet and exercise, type 2 diabetes can be delayed, controlled, or even prevented.

With this in mind, Dining with Diabetes in Pennsylvania has the potential to reach populations in the state that may have limited access to diabetes education programs. One of the primary goals of the program is to connect participants to appropriate health care providers and to empower people with diabetes to be more confident in managing their diabetes

How can Penn State Extension “Make Life Better?” Penn State Extension offers a program called Dining with Diabetes.

This program will help you to understand some of the most important things you need to know about how to manage your diabetes.

Classes are offered weekly for four weeks, with a three-month follow-up class. Each class offers food demonstrations and tastings, physical activity, ideas to take home, and discussions regarding important information to help you manage your diabetes.

Lab tests will be offered to measure A1c.
 
In addition to class handouts and test results, participants also receive a variety of resources, including a complete collection of Dining with Diabetes recipes.

If you have been told that you have Type 2 diabetes, you will want to attend this class. Visit the Dining with Diabetes webpage to view upcoming classes in Clinton County or contact Laurie Welch at 570-726-0022 or law27@psu.edu.