Community Conversation on Diabetes

People who do not already have diabetes can reduce their risk by being physically active, and, if they are overweight, losing weight.

Individuals and families impacted by diabetes can join a “Community Conversation on Diabetes" on Jan. 24 at the DeKalb County Board of Health Auditorium. 

The seventh annual health summit, “Wellness Over Weight – What’s Weighing You Down?" will bring together healthcare professionals, community advocates, and others to address disparities like diabetes and chronic diseases, and mental health.

Diabetes, which afflicts 10.6 percent of DeKalb County’s population and an estimated 30.3 million people or 9.4 percent of the U.S. population, is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, new cases of blindness, heart disease and stroke, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC estimates that about one in four people with diabetes don’t know they have the disease, and that an additional 84.1 million Americans 18 years and older are pre-diabetic – a condition in which blood sugar is elevated but has not reached the levels that would result in a diagnosis of diabetes. People who develop type 2 diabetes usually have pre-diabetes first.

At this rate, the CDC estimates that as many as one-third of Americans could have diabetes by 2050.

Obesity causes insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes.

In 2011, the CDC identified the diabetes belt, which includes Georgia. The 644 counties in 14 states are places where people are more likely to have type 2 diabetes than people who live in other parts of the United States.  

Inside the diabetes belt, 11.7 percent of the people have diagnosed diabetes. Outside the belt, 8.5 percent have diagnosed diabetes.

The Jan. 24 “Wellness Over Weight – What’s Weighing You Down?" conversation, hosted by DeKalb Commissioner Steve Bradshaw, is the first in a series of Community Conversations in DeKalb County sponsored by the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority.

Its theme is “Be Sweet to Your Body.” Speakers and resources will focus on how to keep your blood glucose levels at your target range.

People who do not already have diabetes can reduce their risk by being physically active, and, if they are overweight, losing weight.

The CDC says obesity and inactivity account for nearly a third of the increased risk for type 2 diabetes which scientists noticed in people living in the diabetes belt.

The DeKalb Board of Health Auditorium is at 445 Winn Way in Decatur. 

The 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. conversation is free to attend, but space is limited.