On Friday, President Obama proclaimed November 2015 as National Diabetes Month, asking Americans to join in activities that raise diabetes awareness and help prevent, treat, and manage the disease. An estimated 29 million Americans have type 2 diabetes and another 86 million have prediabetes.
As part of diabetes awareness month, many of the diabetes research, education and advocacy groups have launched their own campaigns and activities to raise awareness of the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes by 2050 unless people make changes to prevent it.
“Raising awareness regarding diabetes is so important because too few people understand that everyone is at risk for diabetes damage, be it through a personal history, the socioeconomic repercussions of having a loved one with diabetes, , or just simply living in a society ravaged by the impact of diabetes,” says Jason Baker, MD, founder of Marjorie’s Fund, an advocacy and support organization for people with type 1 diabetes. “We all pay for it in some way, but sadly as a society we don't understand the depths of the impact,” he says.
This month, the ADA is focusing on healthy eating with their campaign “Eat Well, America!” Each week in November, the ADA will post recipes and menu planning tips, as well as advice for the holidays. Check here for the weekly menus.
Mid month—November 14th—is World Diabetes Day, created by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), which is concerned about the rising numbers of people around the world developing diabetes. The day centers around the Global Diabetes Walk. Look for walks in your area here. The IDF is also focusing on healthy eating as a key factor in the fight against diabetes, noting that a healthy lifestyle could prevent up to 70 percent of type 2 diabetes.
According to the IDF, a diet containing leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, lean meat, unsweetened yogurt and nuts can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and reduce complications in people with diabetes
Also online, you can participate in Insulin4All, a Tumblr-based social media campaign that's using the hashtag #Insulin4All to call attention to poor access to insulin in many regions around the world.
This year, the National Diabetes Education Program’s (NDEP) is asking people to find some way to help people with diabetes through their campaign, Diabetes Education and Support: Everyone Has a Role. What’s Yours ? The campaign highlights the need for ongoing diabetes education and support among people with diabetes and those who care for them. The program offers a list of resources for patients living with diabetes, family and caregivers, health care professionals and members of the community.
DiabeticLifestyle is launching a social media campaign, where readers can send in a photo with a quote with the hashtag #HowDoYouDoDiabetes? demonstrating how they live their life with diabetes, like this one: "I don’t let it stop me from competing in road races."