The life of a diabetic can’t be easy. Tons of doctors appointments, meetings with nutritionists and getting poked with needles cannot be much fun. Plus, there is so much information to learn especially about nutrition and changing your lifestyle to better manage your blood sugar. Diabetes is such an all encompassing disease that there are tons of products marketed specifically for this group of people. The American Diabetes Association estimates that medical expenses are 2.3 times more for diabetics than for non-diabetics, which includes special food products just for diabetics. I spoke with Mary Hartley, RD, MPH to find out if popular products like Glucerna and Boost are useful tools for diabetics or simply a sales ploy.
Mary Hartley, a registered dietian from New York City and newest edition to the Diets In Review team, thinks these products are great for monitoring nutrients. “The consumer knows exactly how much he’s getting in terms of carbohydrate, fiber, fat, protein and anything else that is measured and these products are formulated to minimize spikes in blood sugar,” Mary says. Excellent point and a great start for newly diagnosed patients or diabetics that lead an active lifestyle and want to throw a shake or bar in their gym bag. I recommend having a small snack on hand at all times to help avoid low blood sugar. Mary adds that this is another perk as these products are extremely portable and convenient.
If you are a parent of a child who has diabetes, you know that dealing with the illness can be a full time task. Even more difficult than dealing with insulin, sugar counts and keeping track of exercise can be the reality that your child just doesn’t care or can’t be bothered. Further compounding these issues, maybe you don’t know enough about diabetes yourself to be well informed. How can you help your child without becoming a nag?
Dr. Sarah G. Khan, resident pharmacist for Diets in Review, shares, “The biggest hurdle for children, I think, is understanding what is going on in their bodies. Parents should be very educated and give them a generalized picture. “Your body doesn’t produce as much or any insulin. Insulin helps the body when we eat something. That is why I need to give you this shot everyday.”
Focus on moderation in their diets. Often, children hear that they need to modify their diets and perceive it as an “all or nothing” type of scenario, and most of us don’t like to be told that we can’t eat certain foods. By helping your child to learn moderation and the reality that a treat can be incorporated in to the diet, you are teaching your child a valuable lesson.
Dr. Khan is a fan of Bayer’s new blood glucose meter known as the DIDGET. “The more the child tests (their blood) they get special codes to Nintendo DS games. It plugs right into a Nintendo DS or DS lite. Once they become more advanced with their blood sugar control it gives them a second level where they can monitor their sugar levels before or after a meal.”
A Seattle graffiti artist made some waves recently with his additions to a Burger King billboard.
The downtown billboard was advertising Burger King dessert menu items. The campaign was taking a light hearted view on consuming sugary treats by labeling the ice cream cone as “side,” the parfait as “entree,” and the milkshake as “drink.” The graffiti markings came in and turned the Burger King logo into a rotund person with a sad face and x-ed out eyes and labeled it “diabetes.”
Doubtfully was the Burger King company happy with the additions made to their sign, but the ad definitely got noticed. The artist’s markings were widely spread across social media and many cheered the blatant criticism of how fast food is clearly a contributor to the diabetes and obesity crisis in America.
Of course the same arguments can be raised time and time again: “No one is forced to buy their food” and “They paid for the ad, they can display what they want.” These are true statements, but perhaps this type of advertising is just not going to fly with the public anymore.
by Kelsey Murray
Women around the world, rejoice! Chocolate is once again being named as a healthy food for people to eat. This time, research shows that the tasty treat is good for your heart health.
Recently, five studies have shown a connection between high chocolate consumption and a significant reduction – 37 percent – in a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease. Consuming chocolate also caused a 31 percent reduction in one’s risk for diabetes and a 29 percent decrease in one’s risk for stroke.
Of course, everything is better in moderation, so don’t take these new studies as an excuse to go to your local candy store and stock up on hundreds of chocolate bars.
“Although over-consumption has harmful effects, the existing studies generally agree on a potential beneficial association of chocolate consumption with a lower risk of cardiometabolic disorders,” said Adriana Buitrago-Lopez of the University of Cambridge.
The title for the latest study on diabetes, “Lowering Physical Inactivity impairs Glycemic Control in Healthy Volunteers,” is trying to establish the relationship between an inactive lifestyle and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The obesity epidemic is upon us, both adults and children. This is something we can not ignore. A sedentary lifestyle is one that can lead to weight gain and possibly diabetes, and all the complications that come with it.
The study was conducted by University of Missouri‘s John Thyfault, an assistant professor in MU’s departments of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and Internal Medicine. He discovered that blood sugar was effected when exercise was reduced or eliminated.