We’re being urged via health messages and big marketing campaigns to eat more dietary fiber and simultaneously to chow down on more whole grains. Beyond the messages to achieve these goals ringing in our ears, a plethora of new foods greet us in the supermarket aisles. They tout, for example “5 grams of whole grains per serving,” “47% of dietary fiber per serving” or proudly focus your attention on the Whole Grains Stamp.
I’ve just got to share the sheer joy and reward I’ve recently experienced facilitating yet another chat-based online weight loss group for the program called vtrimonline.com.
Picture this: It’s Tuesday evening at 7pm ET. Somewhere between 10 to 20 people who range in age, health concerns and pounds to shed; log on to the vtrimonline website for one of our 12 weekly chats. No phones, no cauliflower ears or hoarse voices. Just our fingers!
During the hour I, as the registered dietitian facilitator, get group members to share their weeks’ weight loss wows and woes (with no mention of pounds lost). I deliver key content to help arm people with nutrition, fitness and psychological expertise to lose weight and (hopefully) keep it off. Topics range from how to get moving more each day, to tactics to deal with emotional eating, to healthy choices when eating out, and much more.
Yes, it’s Diabetes Alert Day, but who are all these red flags aimed at and to do what?
Around the world the who to alert on Diabetes Alert Day is hundreds of millions of people. The International Diabetes Federation offers tons of global facts and stats. Suffice to say there’s a type 2 diabetes tsunami already well on it’s way!
In the U.S. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Diabetes Fact Sheet tells us exactly who Diabetes Alert Day is targeted to:
7 million of the 26 million people with diabetes WHO do not yet know they have diabetes. If any of these 7 million people were tested today, they could be diagnosed with diabetes. For most of these people, it’s type 2 diabetes. (26 million people with diabetes represents over 8% of our population.)
70+ million people WHO could be diagnosed with prediabetes today. (Yes, you read this number correctly. Of the estimated 79 million Americans with prediabetes (that’s 35% of American adults), only 8% (and that’s being generous) know they have prediabetes and research shows not even half of these individuals (or their healthcare providers) are taking preventive efforts to slow it’s progression (Learn more in my blog Prediabetes, But Nearly No One Knows It.)
This is one in a series of book reviews. You may find these books beneficial if you: manage prediabetes or diabetes, follow a diabetes meal plan and/or try to eat healthy to live well. These book reviews also appear on amazon.com. The books I’ve reviewed here can be found in my amazon a-store . Please check them out and consider a purchase. This book is available as an e-book and see my review.
Are you aware of how you learn best? Many times our best learnings stem from a series of "experiments." Your Diabetes Science Experiment: Live Your Life with Diabetes, Instead of Letting Diabetes Live your Life by Ginger Vieira, is based on the premise that trial and error scenarios paired with data tracking can help you eliminate the guessing game of diabetes care.
This is one in a series of book reviews. You may find these books beneficial if you: manage prediabetes or diabetes, follow a diabetes meal plan and/or try to eat healthy to live well. These book reviews also appear on amazon.com. The books can be found in my amazon a-store. Please check them out and consider a purchase.
I was excited to get my hot off the press copy of the new and improved (2nd edition) of Think Like a Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin written by, in my humble opinion, one of the go to experts today for people with diabetes who take insulin, Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE. What I love about Gary (yes, I'm a member of his fan club), is that he is tremendously knowledgeable and at the same time extremely practical. In his down-to-earth approach he offers a plethora of innovative out-of-the-box tips for taking care of the everyday, literal and figurative, ups and downs of diabetes using insulin.
A big plus of Think Like a Pancreas is Gary’s writing style. It’s easy-to-read in part because he dovetails his dry wit and fun-loving personality to make, what’s dry as a bone material, into a page turner.
As a diabetes educator/healthcare provider (DHCP) I’m observing that the rapidly growing world of the Diabetes Online Community, known as the DOC, for short and diabetes social networks is helping people with diabetes (PWD) find support and feel supported. People are connecting, building relationships and feeling more positive about the challenges of managing their diabetes. I’m delighted to see this trend!
As a DHCP I’ve long realized that I can’t walk a mile in a PWD shoes. I can’t know what it is like day in, day out to deal with this challenging and relentless disease. But, what I do know is that we can learn from each other to change the dialog between providers and PWD to be more positive, more supportive.
In my Dialoging about Diabetes blogs I interview diabetes activists and social networkers with the goal of gathering ways DHCPs can change better support PWDs diabetes care efforts and make living your real life…just a bit easier.
Dear Ms. Deen:
Now that the dust has settled and the world knows you’ve had type 2 diabetes for a few years I want to offer you (and millions like you new to type 2 diabetes) a dose of support and words of wisdom as a diabetes educator and dietitian who, shall we say, has a few years under her belt.
First, let me encourage you to close your ears to all the advice (and criticism) you’ve received, free of charge, since coming out about your type 2. These “advisors” clearly don’t know much about YOUR diabetes, YOUR medical situation or, to be downright honest, much about type 2 diabetes and today’s treatments.
Second, let me offer you a virtual hug and pat on the back. Thank you for letting the world know about your type 2 diabetes. Too many people deny they have type 2 and remain in denial during the precious years in which taking action to slow down the disease progression is SO critical (more about that below).
Yes, it’s that time of year again where we reflect on the past and move into the future with goals to better ourselves in the year ahead. In my bailiwick the focus is squarely on eating healthier and being more physically active.
I’ve posted my resolutions here, along with a handful of global wishes. It is said that if you state your goals, actually say them out loud, you’re more likely to see them through. I figure putting them out in the blogosphere for all to see is one step better. I’ll report back on these at the end of 2012.
I’ve got five, what I’ll call local resolutions. Actions I want to take close to home, my backyard and kitchen table to be precise.
Here’s my run-down:
1. Prepare and stock homemade salad dressings, ditch the bottles: For several years I’ve wanted to rid our fridge of bottled salad dressings. But I eat a lot of salads and they’re, well, just so easy to open and drizzle. However, because I eat at least one salad a day, they’re a good place to target to taper fat grams, calories and particularly sodium milligrams, to make a significant dent in our daily intake. Homemade dressings will also limit our intake of unneeded additives and preservatives. Got any recipes for healthy salad dressings I can blend up in volume and stash in the fridge?
A few facts are crystal clear:
- Myriad adults would improve their health status and potential longevity by losing a few pounds. Five percent seems to be the magic number to reap health benfits.
- Two thirds of adult Americans are overweight or obese, including many Medicare beneficiaries.
- Losing weight, even a few pounds, and keeping those pounds off is tough work which requires tenacity.
- Primary care providers (PCPs), including general and family practice physicians, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants and others; aren’t known for addressing or spending the time it takes with clients to counsel them on weight control. (In all fairness, they haven’t been allotted the time until now.)
- Susan Yanovski, MD, in her 11/24/11 New England Journal of Medicine editorial Obesity Treatment in Primary Care – Are We There Yet? (abstract), stated: “less than 50% of PCPs report consistently providing weight-control advice to adults and less than 25% report regularly referring people to other providers who may help them with weight control.”
- It’s well known that PCPs receive a minimumof nutritional science in training and it’s highly unlikely that many have obtained the skills known to be effective in weight management counseling from studies on long term weight management.
Yet despite these facts, on November 29th, Medicare (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) announced in their Decision on Intensive Behavioral Counseling for Obesity that it will start to cover obesity counseling services when provided by PCPs (as defined by CMS).
In the past couple of weeks I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about just what the Partnership for A Healthier America is up to. For being in existence barely a year, their strides and accomplishments are tremendously exciting. PHA’s efforts to date make me hopeful that perhaps we will reach PHA’s and the First Lady’s related, but independent, Let’s Move campaign’s, overarching goal: to end childhood obesity within the next generation. Yes, a lofty goal, but one that seems in sight with these important movers and shakers around the table.
Briefly PHA, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, came together in 2010. Their mission is to “bring together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity.”