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Diabetes Fair Brings Awareness to West Valley

Apr 08, 2016 11:01AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Natalie Mollinet | natalie@mycityjournals.com

West Valley - Residents from around the valley gathered at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center on Feb. 20 for The Diabetes Healthy Living Show, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. 

Different hospitals and organizations had booths set up to help people with diabetes learn how to be healthy, active and live well with the disease. In fact, according to University of Utah Health Care, “diabetes affects an estimated 25.8 million people; 18.8 million have been diagnosed, but 7 million are unaware that they have the disease.” 

The fair offered free testing and also testing of blood pressure from St. Marks Hospital. Along with booths were seminars on cooking and exercise routines on how to keep people who have diabetes healthy. The cooking seminars included ways to make easy healthy breakfasts and lunches and having dinner-ready recipes. 

“People think just as long as I can take this medication I can eat whatever I want to,” Christy Clayton, the office manager for Endocrinology of Utah with Dr. Miriam Padilla, said. “Diabetes is something that is ultimately controlled by a healthy lifestyle, diet and exercise. A lot of people can get their sugar down, and a lot of people think that it’s all about just not eating sugar.” 

Dr. Padilla held a Diabetes 101 presentation and presented it in Spanish, as a majority of those who attended were Hispanic.

Studies show that more than 10 percent of Hispanic Americans (2 million) have diabetes and are twice as likely as non-Hispanics to have diabetes. With Hispanics, obesity and physical inactivity are the main risk factors of diabetes among Hispanic Americans. 

“It brings awareness,” volunteer Sydney Dopita said. “They can see the different opportunities that they have for things they didn’t know were available.” 

Sponsors from the Tour de Cure – Utah were there to help people get registered for the walk, run or bike race coming up in June and also helped people get into shape to help manage their diabetes. 

According to the American Diabetes Association, regular physical activity is important to managing diabetes, along with regular meal planning and taking medications. 

“When you are active, your cells become more sensitive to insulin, so it can work more efficiently. Your cells also remove glucose from the blood using a mechanism totally separate from insulin during exercise,” the ADA website said. 

Many of the sponsors were there to help people at the events know which foods were good to eat and which foods to avoid, including representatives from Harmons, who showed off a rack full of different vegetables, noodles and recipes that were diabetes approved. Even though many believe that eating too much sugar is the cause of diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends avoiding intake of sugar-sweetened drink to prevent diabetes. 

To learn more about controlling diabetes or to find a doctor nearby, visit the American Diabetes Associations website at diabetes.org.  

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