Type 2 Diabetes Prevention: What You Need to Know

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Type 2 Diabetes Prevention: What You Need to Know

17, November 2014 9:19 AM


 

Did you know that in California, one in three hospital admissions is related to type 2 diabetes? Diabetes is a disease in which blood sugar levels run too high. Increasing type 2 diabetes prevalence is a major factor driving up health care costs in the United States. In the last thirty years the number of people with diabetes has tripled, from 5.6 million to 20.9 million.1

But if you know anyone with diabetes, it is much more than about the financial costs and more about quality of life. When I worked as the outpatient nutritionist at UC Davis Medical Center, I saw patients in the endocrine (both pediatric and adult), OBGYN high risk, gastric bypass and dialysis clinics. The vast majority of my patients had diabetes and I could see first hand the seriousness of the complications and the toll the disease takes on the entire family.

One third of adults have "prediabetes," which means they have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not yet in the range to be diagnosed with diabetes. The good news: prediabetes does not necessarily lead to type 2 diabetes. It is like a warning sign that it's time to make some changes to your lifestyle. Healthy lifestyle habits can prevent the disease and even return blood sugar levels to normal. Modest weight loss and regular physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes by up to 58%.2

So what are the practical steps to prevent or forestall this disease? Here are 4 action steps you can take to prevent type 2 diabetes:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight. Even a small amount of weight loss (5 - 7% of body weight) makes a difference.
  2. Make healthier food choices from all five food groups.
  3. Don't skip meals. Eating proper portion sizes and consistent meals will keep your energy constant throughout the day.
  4. Get active. Aim for 30 minutes most days of the week. 

Diabetes prevention month helps to remind us all to live a healthier lifestyle to prevent disease and maintain a good quality of life. What can you do today to get started?

 

Maureen Bligh, MA, RDN
Director, Resource Development and Marketing

 

Maureen is a registered dietitian nutritionist and member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

 

References:

1. Meng et. al. Diabetes Tied to a Third of California Hospital Stays, Driving Health Care Costs Higher. UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. May 2014. http://healthpolicy.ucla.edu/publications/Documents/PDF/2014/DiabetesPB_FINAL_5-13-14.pdf 

2. Centers for Disease Control,http://www.cdc.gov/Features/LivingWithDiabetes/ Accessed 11/13/14




Tags: balanced meals diabetes food group foods Healthy eating healthy eating patterns Maureen Bligh

1 Comments


  • Leticia 4 years 6 days ago
    Where can I get the 4 tips for reducing the risk of diabetes in Spanish?

    Reply

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