November is National Diabetes Month: Time to Focus on Leading a Healthier Lifestyle

Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 13, 2012

LANSING - November is National Diabetes Month, and the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) are Changing the Way Diabetes Is Treated. Together, MDCH and NDEP are working to help people better understand how to make necessary changes in their lives to prevent type 2 diabetes, manage their diabetes to prevent complications, and live healthier lives.

Diabetes affects nearly 26 million Americans, and an estimated 79 million people are at risk for developing the disease. Obesity is also a major contributor to chronic diseases such as diabetes. In Michigan alone, diabetes affects more than one million people, and more than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese.

"Even if you know what to do to improve your health, figuring out how to do it and fitting it into your daily routine can be a big challenge," said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. "That's why it's important to set goals and make a plan to prevent type 2 diabetes or manage diabetes to prevent complications. The Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan can help in goal setting. "

This National Diabetes Month, the MDCH is working with the NDEP to help people make a change by bringing behavior change tools to the community - tools to help people better understand how to make healthy changes in their day to day life.

One of those tools is the Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan that recommends the practice of four healthy behaviors and management of four health measures to attain and maintain overall wellness. The four healthy behaviors include a healthy diet, regular exercise, an annual physical exam and avoiding all tobacco use. The four measures are body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.

Another tool to help set and meet goals is the NDEP's Make A Plan tool. The tool helps individuals make a plan and work towards a goal by focusing on what is important to their health and how to break down their goals into small, achievable steps. Whether someone is looking to eat healthier, be more active, manage their weight, or cope better with stress and emotions, the NDEP offers tools and resources to help reach individual health goals.

For more information about diabetes in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/diabetes. To make a plan for a healthier future, visit www.michigan.gov/healthymichigan or www.yourdiabetesinfo.org.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.

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