According to the CDC, diabetes rates have tripled since 1980, now affecting 24 million people in the U.S. In Delaware it is estimated that 66,000 people above age 18 have diabetes. This is approximately 9% of the population of the state. Many more individuals have diabetes but have not been officially diagnosed. Diabetes is a common, serious and costly disease. Over the years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people diagnosed with diabetes. Left unchecked the common physical problems associated with diabetes can be disabling and even life threatening.
A three part Dining with Diabetes series was conducted in Kent and New Castle counties. What is unique about this program as opposed to other diabetes management programs is that it offers the participants the opportunity to observe hands on food preparation. The preparation shows them healthier ways to prepare common foods that everyone in their family can enjoy. Those attending the class get to taste new recipes that use healthier ingredients and are easy to prepare. At each class a registered dietician reviews background information for the participants on the importance of carbohydrate control for diabetics, the benefits of eating a low fat diet and the value of a high fiber diet.
As a result of participating in the Dining with Diabetes training, attendees reported
- eating more fruits and vegetables,
- reading Nutrition Facts panels, and
- using better portion control as a way to manage their diabetes.
They also enjoyed tasting new recipes and trying products that use substitutions for sugar which reduces the level of carbohydrates in their diet.
Submitted for FCS web impact statement 9/27/13