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November is National Diabetes Month—talk about perfect timing!  If your household is like mine, by now you have more than a few Halloween treats lingering in the kitchen, and you’re looking forward to more holiday goodies with Thanksgiving and beyond.  And as if there weren’t already too many high-calorie, high-fat temptations facing us, we have marketers encouraging us to try the latest pumpkin-flavored…whatever!…and I’m sure peppermint mocha treats are in our near future.

We all know it’s easy to gain weight this time of year, but National Diabetes Month is a well-timed reminder that what we eat, and how physically active we are, can affect more than our waistline.  Diabetes is a serious disease, and one that affects millions of people.  The statistics are truly staggering:

  • Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, and over 8 million of those individuals don’t even know they have the disease. (Unfortunately, due to childhood obesity, increasing numbers of children are developing type 2 diabetes; Latinos, African-Americans, Native Americans, Asians, and Pacific Islanders of all ages are most at risk for type 2 diabetes.)
  • Between 2010 and 2012, the estimated number of Americans aged 20 and older who have prediabetes and are therefore at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and its complications—including heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and nerve problems—grew from 79 million to 86 million.
  • The ADA estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion
  • Diabetes is not just a problem in the US, but is growing in other countries, as well, affecting more than371 million people   That number is expected to grow to 552 million by 2030.

Those are scary statistics, but don’t be overwhelmed.  There is a lot you can do to minimize the effects of diabetes and hopefully prevent getting type 2 diabetes in the first place.

To start, take the ADA’s Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test online at http://www.diabetes.org/are-you-at-risk/diabetes-risk-test/?loc=atrisk-slabnav.  It’s a quick and easy way to see if you are at risk and how you can lower the chances that you will develop type 2 diabetes.  Also talk to your health care provider about your risk and getting tested for diabetes.  Of course, pay attention to what you eat and how active you are.  Choose healthy foods and get moving!

The ADA is a good source of information any time of the year, but be sure to check out their website http://tinyurl.com/nj5ocy5 this month.  Throughout November, they’ll be sharing healthy recipes by notable chefs and cookbook authors for every day meals, snacks and special occasions.  They’ll help make choosing, preparing, and serving healthy foods easy…often a challenge this time of year.  I plan to visit the site often to get ideas for my holiday entertaining.  Bon appétit and Happy November!

 

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