By Lauren Bongiorno
According to the American Diabetes Association, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, education and awareness is a key component in preventing the following statistics from continuing to rise in the future years:
- Diabetes affects nearly 30 million children and adults in the U.S today — nearly 10 percent of the population
- Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes
- One- third of American adults will have diabetes by 2050 unless we take steps to stop diabetes
- Every 19 seconds someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes
- Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure
- 60 to 70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage that could result in pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion, sexual dysfunction and other nerve problems
*The above statistics are cited from the American Diabetes Association, 2015.
In honor of this November’s American Diabetes Awareness month, the ADA is holding a campaign to STOP DIABETES. They are gathering up as much support as they can for diabetes research, advocacy, and community outreach in order to help spread the message that all of us need to take a stand against this disease.
American politician Barbara Mikulski once said, “Each one of us can make a difference. Together we can make a change.” Whether or not you have diabetes, here are 5 ways you can help spread awareness to get this country one step closer to health and happiness by stopping the harmful effects and diagnoses of diabetes:
1. Start at home
Start the awareness at home by talking with your family about the importance of healthy blood sugar levels. You can also discuss the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and stress that type 2 diabetes is preventable by keeping a healthy diet and exercising.
2. Participate in a Fundraiser Walk
Join JDRF and ADA in one of their walks that are held nationwide to fundraise for education, research, and advocacy. You can register to join your local JDF ONE walk or ADA Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes.
3. Help support children at school
Once called “Adult Onset Diabetes,” Type 2 diabetes now affects a growing number of children’s lives. One way to help support children is to work with your local school to invite a health care professional to speak about diabetes. Another suggested is to help the district get less fried food and added sugar in the cafeteria and more fresh fruits and vegetables.
4. Organize a walk or workout
Become a motivator in your community and organize a walk or workout with a group of people to help each other stay accountable!
5. Organize a community support group for people with diabetes
When you take the time to come together with like-minded individuals working towards similar goals, you get a support system and realize you’re not the only one out there with the same issues and concerns. The idea is to create a sense of unity that is about joining forces to help each other through the challenges of diabetes and fight against the disease.
November 14th was World Diabetes Day but let’s not let that stop us from continuing to raise awareness and giving support to those who need it each and every day of the year!
Lauren Bongiorno is a Type 1 Diabetic, Diabetic holistic health coach, qualified yoga instructor, and motivational speaker. Lauren has lived with Type 1 Diabetes since 2000 and has proven that no matter what your challenge in life is, taking control of it starts from the inside out with a healthy mind and body. With a background in holistic health, personal training, division 1 collegiate soccer, and yoga, Lauren is the Brand Ambassador for Gluco Perfect. You can connect with Lauren on her website at laurenbongiorno.com and follow her Instagram and Facebook pages for daily inspiration.