America Gets Cooking to Stop Diabetes
November is American Diabetes Month, time to take diabetes seriously!
You probably know a few people who have diabetes. Maybe you have diabetes yourself. Diabetes is a disease that can be controlled, and even prevented.
This year’s theme from the American Diabetes Association is America Gets Cooking to Stop Diabetes. The website features some easy and great tasting recipes. You can sign up for the Association’s free monthly e-newsletter, where you can get the recipes and meal plans. Just go to MyFoodAdvisor to register for your newsletter. Their recipes will give you inspiration for healthy eating.
Unfortunately, diabetes has become increasingly common among populations of certain areas in the country. These places form the “Diabetes Belt.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “America’s “diabetes belt” is a cluster of 644 counties in 15 states, mainly in the Southeast. At least 11 percent of residents in these counties have diagnosed diabetes, compared with 8.5 percent nationwide.” The fifteen states are Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The Diabetes Belt is a geographic area where residents have a much higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than people who live in other parts of the country. Within the diabetes belt, 11.7 percent of the population has diabetes—in some counties, that percentage can reach 13 percent. The national average is 8.5 percent.
The diabetes belt spans counties in most of the Southern states up through Appalachia. And, in general, it’s growing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The geographic area affected closely mirrors the “stroke belt,” and its population generally is more prone to developing not only diabetes but also other chronic diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hopes to encourage community leaders to prevent new cases of Type 2 diabetes by working to reduce obesity through healthy eating and increased physical activity. Obesity is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. Some U.S. counties with high rates of diabetes aren’t included in the belt because they are isolated from other diabetes hot spots.
Regardless of where you live, you can take steps to prevent obesity and diabetes. There are some very good resources on diet, exercise and weight loss at the website of the American Diabetes Association.