NASHVILLE – Someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes every 20 seconds, according to the American Diabetes Association. Get Fit Tennessee is working to reduce the burden of diabetes in the state by urging all Tennesseans to know their risk factors for the disease as part of the observance of Diabetes Alert Day March 23.
This annual health observance is dedicated to raising awareness of Type 2 diabetes and encouraging those who are at risk to take steps toward prevention.
“I encourage all Tennesseans to take this day to learn more about the risk factors for diabetes and make small changes to eat better and increase physical activity to help reduce those factors in their lives,” said Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN. “Contact your health care provider to talk about your personal risk factors and ways to lower your risk for diabetes.”
More than 10 percent of adult Tennesseans participating in the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System responded they had been told by a health professional that they have diabetes. That ranks Tennessee 46th in the nation for diabetes incidence, with only four other states having a higher percentage of cases.
The American Diabetes Association estimates 530,000 children and adults are living with diabetes in Tennessee, and an additional 50,000 people in the state are living with pre-diabetes. Nationwide, more than 20 million children and adults are living with diabetes, according to the ADA.
Get Fit Tennessee has a number of resources available to help those managing diabetes or pre-diabetes. The free health and fitness tools found online at www.getfittn.com include a nutrition tracker based on the United States Department of Agriculture’s database of more than 7,500 food items.
The nutrition tracker allows users to keep track of calories, fat grams and carbohydrates consumed each day in a virtual food journal. Users can also accumulate “fitness points” by logging physical activity in the fitness tracker, as well as set fitness and nutrition goals.
www.getfittn.com or the American Diabetes Association Web site, www.diabetes.org. Visitors to the ADA Web site can also determine their risk for developing diabetes by taking the online Diabetes Risk Test.
Get Fit Tennessee is a statewide awareness program developed by Governor Phil to address the rising epidemic of Type 2 diabetes and risk factors that lead to diabetes, like obesity. This initiative is aimed at educating both adults and children that Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or even prevented with modest lifestyle changes like increasing physical activity and eating a healthier diet.