Lives Made Better | winter 2011

New Research Targets
America’s Diabetes Epidemic

More than 23 million people in the U.S. already have diabetes. That amount is likely to increase as our waistlines expand. Overweight people have triple the risk for diabetes, and those who are obese have more than seven times the risk.

How can we stop this growing menace? One strategy is earlier screening. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) currently recommends that adults without risk factors get tested for diabetes beginning at age 45. But recently, ADA researchers found that starting screening earlier—between ages 30 and 45—further reduced the risk for diabetes complications and death.

Ask your doctor if getting tested sooner is right for you. And remember, early screening isn’t the only way to ward off this disease. For years, doctors have recommended regular exercise, a healthy diet, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol.

New research also suggests these strategies—some may surprise you!

  • Have a cup of joe … with lunch. Several studies support coffee’s role in lowering diabetes risk. The latest found those who drank java at lunchtime had the least chance of getting diabetes.
  • Skip the sausage. A recent meta-analysis suggests that for every extra serving of processed meat you eat per day, your risk for diabetes increases 20 percent. Cut back on bacon, salami, hot dogs, deli lunch meats, and other processed meats.
  • Rethink your rice. Do you take yours white? Replacing just one-third of a serving of white rice per day with brown rice could reduce your risk for diabetes by 16 percent, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. Choose another whole grain, such as barley, to cut your odds by 36 percent.
  • Join a fitness community. You don’t need an expensive gym to lose weight and ward off diabetes. In one study, people who worked out and got help setting goals at a local YMCA lost 6 percent of their body weight and cut their cholesterol in six months.

Brochures to Help Kids and Teens Avoid Diabetes CLICK HERE for information on how to request our free brochures with tips to help kids and teenagers avoid developing type 2 diabetes.