PLUS: Diabetes prevention: 5 tips for taking control
Jan 31 (Reuters) – More than 100,000 Americans died from diabetes in 2021, marking the second consecutive year for that grim milestone and spurring a call for a federal mobilization similar to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The new figures come as an expert panel urges Congress to overhaul diabetes care and prevention, including recommendations to move beyond a reliance on medical interventions alone.
A report released earlier this month calls for far broader policy changes to stem the diabetes epidemic, such as promoting consumption of healthier foods, ensuring paid maternal leave from the workplace, levying taxes on sugary drinks and expanding access to affordable housing, among other areas.
In 2019, diabetes was the seventh-leading cause of death in America and claimed more than 87,000 lives, reflecting a long-running failure to address the illness and leaving many more vulnerable when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, creating new hurdles to accessing care.
Since then, the nation’s toll from diabetes has increased sharply, surpassing 100,000 deaths in each of the last two years and representing a new record-high level, according to a Reuters analysis of provisional death data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Diabetes in the U.S. cannot simply be viewed as a medical or health care problem, but also must be addressed as a societal problem that cuts across many sectors.” – National Clinical Care Commission
Diabetes-related deaths surged 17% in 2020 and 15% in 2021 compared to the prepandemic level in 2019.
That excluded deaths directly attributed to COVID-19. The CDC concurred with the Reuters analysis and said additional deaths from 2021 are still being tallied.
Dr. Paul Hsu, an epidemiologist at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health said:
“The large number of diabetes deaths for a second year in a row is certainly a cause for alarm.
“Type 2 diabetes itself is relatively preventable, so it’s even more tragic that so many deaths are occurring” … READ MORE.
Diabetes prevention: 5 tips for taking control
“Avoid processed foods with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.”
By Mayo Clinic Staff – Changing your lifestyle could be a big step toward diabetes prevention — and it’s never too late to start. Consider these tips.
1. Lose extra weight
Losing weight reduces the risk of diabetes. People in one large study reduced their risk of developing diabetes by almost 60% after losing approximately 7% of their body weight with changes in exercise and diet.
Set a weight-loss goal based on your current body weight. Talk to your doctor about reasonable short-term goals and expectations, such as a losing 1 to 2 pounds a week.
2. Be more physically active
There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you:
- Lose weight
- Lower your blood sugar
- Boost your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range
3. Eat healthy plant foods
Plants provide vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates in your diet. Carbohydrates include sugars and starches — the energy sources for your body — and fiber. Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, is the part of plant foods your body can’t digest or absorb.
Fiber-rich foods promote weight loss and lower the risk of diabetes. Eat a variety of healthy, fiber-rich foods, which include:
- Fruits, such as tomatoes, peppers and fruit from trees
- Nonstarchy vegetables, such as leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower
- Legumes, such as beans, chickpeas and lentils
- Whole grains, such as whole-wheat pasta and bread, whole-grain rice, whole oats, and quinoa
4. Eat healthy fats
Fatty foods are high in calories and should be eaten in moderation. To help lose and manage weight, your diet should include a variety of foods with unsaturated fats, sometimes called “good fats.”
Unsaturated fats — both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — promote healthy blood cholesterol levels and good heart and vascular health.
5. Skip fad diets and make healthier choices
Many fad diets — such as the glycemic index, paleo or keto diets — may help you lose weight. There is little research, however, about the long-term benefits of these diets or their benefit in preventing diabetes.
Your dietary goal should be to lose weight and then maintain a healthier weight moving forward. Healthy dietary decisions, therefore, need to include a strategy that you can maintain as a lifelong habit. Making healthy decisions that reflect some of your own preferences for food and traditions may be beneficial for you over time.
When to see your doctor
The American Diabetes Association recommends routine screening with diagnostic tests for type 2 diabetes for all adults age 45 or older and for the following groups:
- People younger than 45 who are overweight or obese and have one or more risk factors associated with diabetes
- Women who have had gestational diabetes
- People who have been diagnosed with prediabetes
- Children who are overweight or obese and who have a family history of type 2 diabetes or other risk factors
Share your concerns about diabetes prevention with your doctor. He or she will appreciate your efforts to prevent diabetes and may offer additional suggestions based on your medical history or other factors. READ MORE.