Thursday is World Health Day

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, April 6, 2016

by Emmie Jernigan

Thursday is World Health Day. Every year the World Health Organization chooses an area of global health concern as the theme for World Health Day. The theme for 2016 is “Stay Super!  BEAT DIABETES.”

According to the WHO, diabetes is “a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose which may over time lead to a serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.”  This disease continues to rise in prevalence, especially in low- and middle-income communities. In 2014, 9 percent of adults 18 years and older had diabetes. In 2012, diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths.

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Diabetes can be prevented or delayed by simple changes in our lifestyle. Have we heard that before?  Staying physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding tobacco use.  Simple changes that become difficult in our daily lives.  Simple changes that our lives depend on.

As a busy single parent I am guilty of fast food and drive-in dinners. I also indulge in chocolate cake, potato chips, and other delightful treats. I also realize that I am teaching my children how to live. They are watching me and will adopt my lifestyle. I do limit the amounts of these “treats” for they are intended to be eaten occasionally.  Isn’t that what a “treat” is? An occasional indulgence?

How does diabetes affect your community?  Are you living with diabetes?  Share your story with our community on World Health Day 2016!  Post your success, struggles, or advice on social media using the #diabetes hashtag.  Join the discussion and help prevent and treat diabetes.  Our community’s health depends on it.

This article is sponsored by Comfort Care Hospice. For more information about available services call the number above or visit their office on Belleville Avenue.