The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

March 16, 2011

National Nutrition Month and Diabetes Alert Day

RICHMOND — There are so many exciting things that accompany spring, and March is the best month to begin incorporating new ways to rejuvenate and emerge from the winter.

One of the best ways to feel your finest is to eat healthy. March is National Nutrition Month, a nutrition education and information campaign created annually by the American Dietetic Association. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.  The theme for March 2011 is "Eat Right with Color” and the primary purpose is to encourage everyone to consume a variety of fresh colorful fruits and vegetables.

Another important date to remember during the month of March is March 22, designated to observe Diabetes Alert Day. Diabetes Alert Day is designed to bring awareness to this ever increasing chronic disease. Statistics indicate that nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, while an estimated one-third of people are not aware of their condition. It is essential to identify risk factors associated with diabetes, and these can include being overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, family history, African American and Hispanic/Latino ethnicities and over the age of 45 years.

Diabetes is a serious disease that can have devastating results if left undiagnosed or untreated. Problems can range in severity from heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and even death.

If you or someone you know is currently suffering from diabetes, please seek medical attention and remember that you can make appropriate lifestyle changes to combat the disease. It only takes a small amount of weight loss and physical activity to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to minimize the possibility: make healthy food choices such as fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats and poultry without the skin, whole grains and fat-free dairy. Other methods of prevention include choosing water to drink, eat smaller portions, be active at least 30 minutes every day and keep a food diary to record your intake.

Living life to the fullest every day

It is always important to focus on both the physical and mental aspects of the aging process. Aging and attitude go hand in hand. We have all heard the slogan that “Attitude is Everything” and this is especially true with the aging population. Maintaining a positive attitude and remaining involved in daily routines and activities can greatly impact the desire to age successfully. Additionally, life lessons learned along the way can also influence the aging process by providing a sense of self that can empower an individual to live life to the fullest everyday!

The “Living Life to the Fullest Everyday” program will be presented on March 24 at 6:30 p.m. by Tammy Howard, FCS Agent from Estill County. The program will take place at the Madison County Extension Education Center, 230 Duncannon Lane, Richmond. Program is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Please register by calling 623-4072.

Educational programs of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.

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