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Wilburn: New brochure helps teens manage diabetes
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The number of teens with diabetes has increased greatly in the last decade.

To address this problem, the National Diabetes Education Program has produced a series of handouts targeting 11- to 17-year-olds. The handouts are formatted like four-page newsletters and are very colorful and easy to read. Each one focuses on not only providing knowledge but encouraging the reader to personalize the information and take action.

Topics covered include:

What is diabetes?

The different types of diabetes; why teens get diabetes; what they will need to do to care for their diabetes; and why self-management is important.

Deal with the ups and downs of diabetes

Normal feelings that accompany diabetes; who can provide support; how to involve family members; the value of support groups, diabetes camps and pen pals; how to educate friends to get their support; goal setting.

Making healthy food choices

The effect healthy food has on the body; the different nutrients found in food; how to choose the healthiest foods from each food group; how to healthily include sweets in the diet; portion control; and how to balance food with activity and medication.

Being active

The benefits of physical activity and how much is recommended; how to adjust diabetes management to exercise safely; how to be active if you don't like to exercise; how to get the support of family and friends; and how parents can encourage activity.

Staying at a healthy weight

Why a healthy weight is important and how to achieve it; and tips on healthy eating including the value of breakfast, better snacks, school lunch options, and lower fat and calorie fast food choices.

Lowering your risk for Type 2 diabetes

For those who do not yet have diabetes, how to lower their risk through healthy food choices, portion control and physical activity; the benefits of lowering risk for Type 2; and what the symptoms of Type 2 are.

All the newsletter/bulletins include a list on the back of Internet resources that young people can visit to get more information.

Debbie Wilburn is county extension agent in family and consumer science with the Hall County Extension. Contact: 770-535-8290.