NIFA funds diabetes project using increased awareness, screening, and education
An estimated 54 million U.S. adults aged 20 or older have pre-diabetes. Many people who have Type 2 diabetes do not know they have the disease until they experience complications. According to the Bureau of Health Statistics in Pennsylvania, diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death in the state in 2005. It is estimated 1,120,345 Pennsylvanians have diabetes and an additional 25 percent (almost 281,000) have diabetes but are not diagnosed. The overall goal of this NIFA Division of Family and Consumer Sciences-funded project is to increase diabetes awareness, identification, and proper management by providing screening and education to underserved areas in Pennsylvania. Marketing efforts through social media and search engine advertising resulted in a 200 to 400 percent increase in traffic to the Dining with Diabetes website. All registrations for the program are now conducted online using Cvent registration, which allows for increased evaluation of marketing techniques. Over 1,700 participants have benefited from the Dining with Diabetes program as evidenced by the significant improvements in A1c, waist circumference, and blood pressure measurements. Including at-risk family members resulted in identifying those who have pre-diabetes or diabetes (26 percent of family members attending). This subgroup has also shown significant improvements in their bio-markers. All participants have shown statistically significant improvements in health-related behavior changes, such as increased physical activity and healthier food choices, increased knowledge, and improved attitudes related to diabetes care and prevention.
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