Plate adjustment as diabetes prevention, says expert

By Rachel Parks

Thirty million people in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes, and one-third of them are undiagnosed and untreated, said Mack Bonner, co-chair of Hampton Roads Community Outreach for the American Diabetes Association.

Diabetes, Bonner told 40 people gathered in the Student Center Ballroom, has a higher prevalence in blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans. There are 80 million people living with pre-diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic illness marked by inadequate insulin amounts and/or insulin effects resulting in an excess amount of glucose in blood. Diabetes is a vascular disease, with two types. Type 1 diabetes means the individual cannot produce insulin, and Type 2 diabetes result from the individual's environment, i.e., fatty foods, not enough exercise, and the body needs protection from insulin.

Diabetes can be prevented by dieting, weight loss, exercise and cardio to lower insulin resistance, and calorie reduction. Another prevention strategy is the "plate" method": Half of your plate green vegetables, one quarter starches and one quarter lean meats.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communication.

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