Change Your Lifestyle

November is American Diabetes Month. Alarming facts about the health of the American public tell us that the masses need to be educated about risk factors and solutions to this growing crisis.

According to the CDC, approximately 17 percent, or 12.5 million, children and adolescents ages 2-19 years are obese. Since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled.

A little more than half of students nationwide are enrolled in a physical education class, but by high school only a third take gym class daily, according to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin surveyed almost 3,000 children ages 1-12, recording their habits and calculating body mass indices. They found that the children who played video games, which are considered sedentary activities, were more likely to be overweight than children who only watched television and didn't play video games.

"About one-third of U.S. adults (33.8 percent) are obese," says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Portion sizes of meals in the United States have increased dramatically, as have as our appetites. "Fifty-four percent of Americans will eat until their plate is clean," Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, stated in a CBS News report on "How Americans Eat Today," which aired in January 2010.

According to the National Institutes of Health, 58 percent of diabetic cases could be prevented with a healthier lifestyle. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and affects approximately 25.8 million people.

These diabetes tips can help you and those you love:

  • Look closely at your family history.
  • Watch your weight and try to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Set aside time for leisure activity such as walking and any form of exercise for at least 30 minutes, five days a week.
  • Learn to read labels on food and choose healthy foods.
  • Things that are recommended for diabetes prevention are also used in treatment.
  • When you visit your doctor, ask him or her about screening if you are African American, Hispanic, or Native American, for you are at an increased risk.
  • Remember, lifestyle is your major risk outside of your family history.

Posted by James Reed on Nov 28, 2011