National Diabetes Awareness month is held every November to promote a greater understanding and awareness of diabetes as well as the many consequences surrounding this challenging disease.
According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 26 million Americans – both children and adults – have diabetes. Diabetes occurs when blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are above normal, a result of the body’s ability to either produce or use insulin. If not diagnosed, managed and controlled effectively, diabetes can lead to serious health issues, including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and nerve damage.
It is also estimated 79 million more people have prediabetes, a condition which places them at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the disease. The cost of treating diagnosed diabetes totals at least $245 billion annually.
“Education and making healthy lifestyle choices are the most powerful tools we have to fight against diabetes,” said Learning ZoneXpress (LZX) Founder Melanie Nelson. “Information leads to knowledge and that turns into proactive choices. The more proactive our citizens are, the more success we will see in reducing diabetes.”
For diabetics or those who are at risk for the disease, being proactive means maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular exercise, consuming a diabetes-friendly diet, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
To encourage these appropriate lifestyle decisions, LZX offers numerous engaging learning products that address diabetes.
The newest education LZX diabetes learning tools are four diabetes-friendly MyPlate products, including a tri-fold brochure, two-sided handout, Spanish-version handout and poster. All of these resources feature colorful graphics and promote smart food choices for those who are either at risk or those who have already received a diabetes diagnosis.
The content in all LZX diabetes materials feature an adaption of the new USDA food pyramid that promotes diabetes-friendly foods and portions. Also emphasized in all the diabetes materials is the importance of daily physical activity, the significance of carbohydrates in a diabetic diet and the positive impact of reducing intake of solid fats, added sugars and salt.