It is likely that you or someone you know has diabetes. It is a disease that has swept the nation, and at times it can be preventable, but at times it is not. That is why World Diabetes Day is a day we need to educate people about. Diabetes is a disease that does not discriminate by age, gender or race. If you are reading this, or even writing this, you may be susceptible to the disease.
What is diabetes? This question is the best way to start this entry. What is diabetes? Well, diabetes is a disease that does not allow your body to produce any or enough insulin which causes a fluctuation in your glucose levels. That is why sometimes diabetes is hereditary, while other times it is self-inflicted which sounds quite harsh. Your diet has a great effect on your body and whether or not it is able to control glucose levels.
What is your diet? Upon writing this I have Halloween candy sitting in front of me, but I am snacking on an apple instead. Now I am not trying to say that my diet is perfect, but I am able to say no to the chocolate treats that sit in front of me. Not everyone is able to do that. I have worked with people in the past that eat primarily junk food, and their waist line reflects this. Many went on to be diagnosed with diabetes. The type was often type 2, but not everyone was as lucky and some had type 1. A change in their diet could have prevented having diabetes at all. Sometimes an easy switch from soda or juice to water is all you need to do, other times it is not as simple.
My best advice is to keep an eye on your diet if you do not suffer from hereditary diabetes. This is the best way to prevent it, and is very important to bring up for World Diabetes Day. Visit a nutritionist if you are interested in living a healthier lifestyle. Remember, just because you are visiting a nutritionist does not mean that you have to eat like a rabbit. Often times they just remind you to keep portions in check. Eat ice cream, but only half a cup rather than half a gallon. Small changes are key.
How to observe World Diabetes Day? This is a great question to ask. World Diabetes Day often has a theme each year. The day chosen is quite symbolic since it is Frederick Banting who helped discover insulin in 1922. Since he helped save lives, it only made sense to observe the holiday on his birthday. So, if you have diabetes and you use your insulin on the 14th, you can thank Frederick Banting for that.
If you are like me, you want to educate the community about World Diabetes Day and help the population of people who have the disease. Go to doctor’s offices, hospitals, minute clinics and nutritionist offices and pass out pamphlets about the disease. Ask the nutritionist how to educate those in the community about living a healthy life with a healthy, but delicious diet. This will hopefully make more people change their diets and pass it onto the next generation.
Parents, it starts with you. If you have young kids, they look up to you and see what you eat and whether or not you exercise. If you just sit and watch movies all day and eat chips and dip, then your kids will think that is ok to do. Well, it is not ok. Living a healthy lifestyle will help to prevent diabetes in many children and adults. Exercise and eat healthy which few snacks during the day. Teach your kids the right snacks to eat after school and do not keep the bad stuff within their reach. Keep a bowl of fruit in the house within easy reach for them if they want a snack. Keep the chocolate and candy in a spot hidden from them and only bring it out once or twice a week. If your kids see you exercising and eating fruit, then they will know that is how they are supposed to live life.
If you are still concerned after passing out pamphlets and teaching your kids right from wrong, then approach the schools. Have them offer the kids healthy snack options in vending machines and in the cafeteria. Have them teach the kids what foods are good and which are bad or should be eaten less often. Do not scare them, but educate them. As a female, I know the importance of a peanut butter cup in my diet, but I also know when I should have one. That is what the next generation needs to learn.