Thursday, November 1

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

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November is diabetic awareness month in Canada and I believe in the US also. Diabetes has been escalating over the last few years and is quickly becoming an epidemic. We need to stop diabetes in its tracks.

This morning there was an article about diabetes in the Toronto Star. A ground breaking study has proven that urban scrawl is contributing to diabetes, where once it was believed that it was only poverty and immigration population that was causing diabetes to escalate.

85,000 people in Ontario are suffering from diabetes, which can lead to blindness, limb amputation, kidney failure as well as heart attack and stroke. The story goes on to say that one in nine people living in Toronto has diabetes and that the disease has soared 27% in the last four years. There is no sign that this trend is going to slow. More than 50,000 people in Toronto have been diagnosed with diabetes in the last four years.

The article goes on to say that on an aboriginal reserve in northwestern Ontario, one in four people suffer from diabetes and that in New York City's Harlem one in five people are diabetics. Most who suffer from diabetes are Type II diabetics. Many of these people cannot get the amount of exercise they require on a daily basis because their neighborhood is too dangerous to walk very far. Also, they don't have the means to supply their families with healthy, nutritious food.

The report must be taken into consideration by the Ontario Government offices at Queen's Park in Toronto. The City of Toronto also needs to increase efforts to invest in public services in low income neighborhoods where many people suffer from diabetes and other illnesses because they live in poverty. It seems to me, and this is only my personal opinion, that Mayor David Miller needs to be looking at avenues to correct the problems in his city. In many areas residents have to travel extended distances in order to get to a store.

Some communities in Ontario are making people sick and there definitely needs to be an increase in income for Ontario's working poor. Many of these people can't afford to buy health and nutritious food even if there was a farmer's market or grocery store right around the corner.

Obesity plays a huge role in the onset of Type II diabetes and at this time, one in two Canadians are overweight. Years ago, only adults were diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Today, many children, some as young as ten have the disease. Some of this is because in today's society we allow our children to sit in front of TV sets, computer screens and play video games instead of going outside to play.

The long and short of the matter is that we need to ensure that our kids get at least a half hour of intense exercise on a daily basis. Adults also need that amount of exercise or more. Without exercise and proper food, the diabetes epidemic is going to blow out of proportion. But this cannot be done unless the people living in poverty are able to buy the healthy and nutritious food that they need to keep them in optimum health.

Years ago, diabetes common. People ate large portions of meat and fats but then worked it off doing hard labor. Today we sit at desks or sit in front of the TV in our spare time and pack on the pounds. We drive everywhere and park as close to the door as we possibly can. These things make us vunerable to weight gain, which in turn can cause the onset of diabetes.

It is imperative that North Americans change their lifestyles if we do not want there to be a diabetes epidemic. We are close to that now. Do your part to ensure that diabetes does not touch your life. If you already have diabetes, be certain to have regular checkups by a health care profession, take your blood glucose levels often and eat healthy and nutritious foods. This will help prevent the complications of diabetes and keep you in optimum health.


  1. Very interesting, and very distressing.

  2. I was diagnosed as Adult Onset, then down to no I did not have it, now I'm borderline...I just wish there was better diagnosing...oh well, just take care of myself and do the best I can.

    Thanks for the heads up I did not know this!

    Have a great day!

  3. Mary,

    Excellent article! What you describe is happening in Canada is pretty much mirrored in the United States. I think you could pretty well have written that as an article about the US. Doctors are sounding the alarm here as they see more and more obese people who are developing diabetes. Sadly, the greatest alarm is among children whose obesity rates and diabetes rates are rising as never before. Poor nutrition and inactivity are the main causes. As you pointed out, poor people who cannot afford nutritious food and live in urban areas where it is difficult to get exercise are definitely part of this group.
    Even when the kids get at least one meal at school, most often that turns out to be a high fat, high sugar, highly processed meal.
    There is hope. Many schools across the country are trying to serve nutritious meals and have taken soft drink, candy and potato chip vending machines out of the school. Many cities are attempting to designate areas to be turned into parks and to create trails for bicycling and walking. Some school districts are even putting gym back into the curriculum. It is just a beginning. We all need to push to make it more widespread and to make it happen sooner. We all need to push to make a living wage mandatory. The working poor take a terrible hit in so many ways.

    Well, Mary, this was a great article. Thank you for sounding the alarm that is so desperately need in both our countries.

    Now I'm actually going to sign off and leave some space for someone else. LOL


  4. Tina,

    Thanks for your very informative post about diabetes in the US. I appreciate it.

    The Ontario government never did allow them to take gym out of the schools here and last year they made it mandatory that school children have at least 20 minutes of exercise included in their school day. I agree with that wholeheartedly. Too many children sit in front of the TV, computer or play games continually. These things were created to give pleasure, not something that is to be constantly used. Kids need to get outside and have fun, use their imaginations and get exercise.

    We never did have pop or candy machines in schools in this city, though I know they were in Toronto schools, but most have been removed. Our health care system will not be able to keep up with all of the illness as a result of obesity.

    Thanks again for your comments.


  5. My brother gained a lot of weight after a very bad motorcycle accident cost him the use of a leg and he developed type II. As he recovered and changed his eating habits he was able to keep it well within control. But if he hadn't gone in and had it diagnosed properly and stuck with a regiment of sensible eating, we may well have lost him.

  6. Mary,

    What an informative blog about diabetes. As Tina already said, it is now rampant in the US as well. The more people are educated on the subject, the better. Thank you for educating us.

    Take care!


  7. Thank you for this very informative post on diabetes. I come from a family history of diabetes. So far, with continous monitoring and good food choices I remain diabetes free. It is a constant within my lifestyle.
    Your post will spark an awareness for diabetes that many haven't been exposed to in the past.

    Please stop by have been tagged for a short meme...

    Have a wonderful evening!

  8. Thanks for sharing such an informative article my dear friend, love you.

  9. Awesome article, Mary! I use to be near 300 pounds, but since I've lost over 100 pounds, I no longer need the diabetes medication!

    I am now an "almost healthy 12", meaning I'm still considered (by doctors) to be a little overweight for my height. I am headed toward the single digits and a real healthy weight as I'm working diligently on improving my weight/health daily.

    This is part of my decision to become vegetarian.


  10. Michele,

    Congratulations on losing the weight. It's not easy. Once it's on, it's hard to get off. I'm glad that you no longer need the diabetic meds. You're doing a great job.

  11. I have a daughter with Type 1 or juvenile diabetes. It is a different disease that type 2, but the effects are the same. She has been on insulin since the beginning and Type 1 is not diet controlled. I see the effects every day of people who do not take their own diabetes seriously. 3/4 of my patients in the rehab setting are diabetics.