Prevent Diabetes in Your Community
In this month’s Lion Magazine, we tackled the issue of diabetes. Unfortunately, this disease is on the rise; 24 million Americans have diabetes. This reflects a 50 percent increase in just the last decade.
But, there are things that we can do to reduce the risk factors for developing Type II diabetes. The Mayo Clinic provides five simple ideas for reducing your risk factors: get more physical activity, get plenty of fiber, go for the whole grains, lose extra weight and avoid fad diets. Apply these small tips on a community-wide scale and raise awareness for diabetes prevention in your neighborhood. Here are some of our ideas to get you started:
- Start a walking group. A quick stroll before your meetings will get the blood pumping and energize your Lions. As a community service project, partner with a senior citizen home to take weekly walks for exercise.
- Keep food at meetings light. If you typically meet at a restaurant for meetings, switch to healthier fare like salads, baked lean protein and veggies. Or, encourage Lions to provide healthy snacks and potluck dishes if everyone brings something to your meetings. You can taste test the healthy dishes and vote on your favorite, awarding the best healthy cook with a prize for their efforts.
- Switch to whole-grain pasta at your next spaghetti dinner. Or, opt for whole-grain hot dog and hamburger buns at your cookout. Provide pamphlets about diabetes prevention and make your guests aware of the changes so they can make healthier choices at home, too.
- Host a “biggest loser” contest. Offer a prize to the Lion who loses the most percentage of body fat. Make it a fun competition and try to get everyone involved.
So what are you doing to raise awareness for diabetes in your community? Let us know in the comments section.