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American Diabetes Month Celebrated at Montefiore with Events, Food Demonstrations and Educational Workshops

This Year’s Theme, “Focus on Youth,” Aims to Educate Kids about Diabetes Prevention 

NEW YORK (October 29, 2013) – Clinicians at Montefiore Medical Center have coordinated a robust schedule of events to take place during November – American Diabetes Month – to raise awareness about the consequences and management of diabetes. This year’s theme at Montefiore, “Focus on Youth,” centers on the importance of prevention, and several of the planned events are specifically designed to engage children in the diabetes conversation. 

Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association and the Bronx is disproportionately affected by the condition and its associated complications. Montefiore’s month-long program of activities will educate patients, associates and the community-at-large about efforts to reduce the occurrence of Type 2 diabetes and help people with Type 1 lead healthy, fulfilling lives. 

“The impact of diabetes is widespread in our community,” said Rita J. Louard, M.D., director, Clinical Diabetes Program-Moses Campus, Montefiore Medical Center and associate professor of clinical medicine, Department of Medicine (Endocrinology) at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. “We want people to know what resources are available to them, but we also want to reinforce that prevention is key and teach people about healthy lifestyle and dietary habits that could improve quality of life.” 

Diabetes is a disease which disables the body’s ability to produce insulin. This leads to elevated glucose levels in the blood and most patients require medications to regulate the condition. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and is usually diagnosed in childhood. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, is linked to dietary and lifestyle factors and is often associated with obesity. 

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and blindness; it is linked to high rates of heart disease and stroke and people with the disease have a higher rate of limb amputations. It is estimated that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion. 

“People who are overweight, have high blood pressure and high cholesterol are at increased risk for developing diabetes,” said Dr. Louard. “Montefiore is a leading provider of diabetes care and we are passionate about teaching people how to manage the condition as well as guiding them on how to prevent it.” 

Montefiore’s Diabetes Month program offers events including healthy eating demonstrations, interactive diabetes prevention workshops and educational talks. Patients, the community and Montefiore associates are invited to participate in all events free-of-charge. Below is a sample of events and the complete calendar is available here

  • Halloween Candy Buyback (Nov. 1, 3-6 pm, Moses Campus Grand Hall) – To kickoff American Diabetes Month, The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore is hosting a Candy Exchange where kids with diabetes are invited to bring the candy they gathered on Halloween and exchange it for gifts. The kids can wear their Halloween costumes and enjoy games, giveaways and activities while the adults can gather educational information about how to live with and manage diabetes. The collected candy will be distributed to FDNY and NYPD departments in the Bronx.
     
  • Turning Around the Titanic: Eating Our Way Clear of Disease (Nov. 25, 12-1 pm, Moses Campus Cherkasky Auditorium) Robert Ostfeld, M.D., director of the Montefiore-Cardiac Wellness Program and associate professor of clinical medicine, Department of Medicine (Cardiology) at Einstein, will be featured speaker at this public seminar about the scientific approach to preventing and treating diabetes, hypertension and heart disease by modifying food choices.

Follow @MontefioreNYC for more information about educational Twitter chats, Montefiore events and general diabetes facts and tips. Additional information also will be available on Montefiore’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

“Some estimates suggest that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take preventative measures to address the problem,” Dr. Louard said. “The advice and guidance we share during American Diabetes Month should be taken into consideration far beyond November. We want people to make lasting changes that can prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes and help people with Type 1 stay as healthy as possible.”