Monday, November 28, 2011

New Numbers for Diabetes in American Adults

The Growing Healthy Kids project started as my response and reaction to the increasing number of overweight and obese children I see attending our public schools.  What I really see is kids who will soon be diagnosed with diabetes.  These are kids who already cannot complete a physical education class due to their weight.  These are kids whose parents say they cannot afford to eat healthy, so they let the kids buy energy drinks at the 7-11 loaded with 17 teaspoons of sugar on the way to middle school and they eat the "dollar menu" from McDonald's 2 or 3 nights a week because they think that is all they can afford.  These are the kids on the free and reduced meal program in public school who choose the fried foods and chocolate milk instead of salads and baked fish because of ignorant school district employees who are obese themselves. 

So when I saw yesterday's PARADE magazine with the column entitled "Say What?" I was not surprised.  There are nearly 2 million Americans each year being diagnosed with diabetes.  The column addressed 3 questions these newly diagnosed people are being hit with by their doctors:
1) You need a glucometer.
2) I want you to reduce your hemoglobin A1C.
3) Choose foods that have a lower glycemic index.

Remember Lucy's husband Desi, in "I LOVE LUCY", saying, to her, "You got some 'splaining to do!"  The thing is that doctors are not teachers and they don't do the "'splaining" when they diagnose someone with diabetes.  They say, "You need a glucometer to test your blood sugar and I'll see you in 3 months."  So many times I've encountered patients newly diagnosed with diabetes who've been told they they to start checking their blood sugar and the patient is just wandering around the lobby in circles, clueless about what their next step is, let alone what a glucometer is or how to use the darn thing. 

Because of my passion for teaching and for preventing diseases such as diabetes, I created an education program that answers questions 1-3 above and SO MUCH MORE for anyone diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes.  If you know anyone who the PARADE article is addressing, you should know that getting educated quickly about all the basics is key to preventing complications.  The education program I created is simple to use, effective, and explains all the basics in language you and I can understand without having to go to medical school.  The place to go is  There are a bunch of educational videos I've created that you can look at in addition to the numerous blog entries which each teach important lessons. 

I'm serious about preventing diabetes.  I'm serious about doing something serious about the obesity epidemic.  Especially when it comes to the kids all around us who are overweight and obese through no fault of their own.  If adults with diabetes and prediabetes don't start taking responsibility for learning the basics on their own instead of staying with the mindset of "If my doctor didn't prescribe it, I'm not going to do it", then the kids have NO CHANCE of escaping a diabetes diagnosis. 

The fact is that diabetes is preventable and reversible WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO.  For more information about what to do, go to

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to improve the health - and lives - of America's kids, one child and one garden at a time.

Are YOU willing to do to be part of the solution?

To your health,

Nancy L. Heinrich, M.P.H.
Founder of Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.
A non-profit organization which designs and delivers solutions to America's childhood obesity epidemic