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Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity
JoAnne Rosenbluth, RD

Type 2 diabetes is increasing as the obesity epidemic grows. Most people with type 2 diabetes are overweight when diagnosed. Once a disease of adulthood, type 2 diabetes is now being seen in overweight adolescents and children. The longer one has this disease, the greater the risk of complications like kidney disease, heart disease, and blindness.

Approximately 95% of diabetes cases are type 2 (non-insulin dependent). Unlike those with type 1 diabetes who must take insulin shots, people with type 2 are often able to control their diabetes by making lifestyle changes resulting in moderate weight loss.

Overweight people at risk for type 2 diabetes, who have not yet developed the disease, can delay or prevent it through lifestyle changes.

These changes include: reducing calories and fat in the diet, and exercise (like brisk walking) 150 minutes a week, resulting in a slow, moderate weight loss of 5-7% of body weight, or just 10-15 pounds for a 200 pound person.

Obesity rates are highest among low-income people who face complex challenges when trying to eat healthy and exercise. Programs such as food stamps, WIC, the Summer Food Service Program for school children, and Food Bank produce distributions during the summer months can assist people trying to make healthy food choices on limited budgets. The Food Bank offers workshops for partner agency staff, volunteers, and clients to learn about food preparation, serving sizes, and making healthful food choices with limited resources.

For more information please contact the registered dietician at the Worcester County Food Bank, at (508) 842-3663.

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