Former Miss America aims to improve care for individuals living with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes

Nicole Johnson recently told the Villages Daily Sun that when she was crowned Miss America in 1999, there were about 16 million Americans living with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. However, that number is now closer to 26 million and it is growing rapidly.

While there may not be anything that a single individual can do in terms of preventing diabetes, Johnson said she plans to improve care for those who are diagnosed with the chronic condition.

She told the newspaper that her doctor informed her that she had type 1 diabetes at the age of 19. There were a number of things that she was told she would not be able to do in life, such as have children, but Johnson went on to be crowned Miss America, author six books, become a mother and successful television journalist, and act as an advocate for others who have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes on the covers of Newsweek and TIME.

The news provider reported that several of Johnson's books focus on diabetes management and offer recipes and cooking tips for individuals who are on a diabetic diet.

She told the news source that while she is completing her doctorate at the University of South Florida, she plans to partner with the school's health department to survey local residents who have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Through this collaboration, she hopes they will be able to determine how the healthcare system can better address the needs of these individuals.

According to the American Diabetes Association, people with type 1 diabetes account for only 5 percent of the total diabetic population. These individuals must practice diligent diabetes management since their bodies do not produce any insulin, which makes them susceptible to dangerously high or low blood sugar levels.