"Food, Health and Hope: An Answer to Diabetes" (FHH) Phase 2 Begins in July
In July, a second group of pre-screened IFPO clients who have agreed to follow program guidelines will begin a year long program co-sponsored by our partners Summit Medical Group Foundation and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey entitled "Food, Health and Hope: An Answer to Diabetes" (FHH).The goal of the program is to help clients with diabetes learn more about the dangers of the disease and how to better manage it with healthy food choices and exercise.
FHH program clients will have their A1C levels, blood pressure and weight screened every 3 months. If there is time, participants in the pilot program which ran last year or other clients may have their levels tested as well. During the screening process, several clients were found to have dangerously high hypertension levels and were sent directly to Urgent Care for follow up care. Next spring, SMGF will also do vision and podiatry screenings of participants in the program.
The importance of this program can't be underestimated: diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death in New Jersey! Diabetes affects 12% of the total population of NJ, many of whom are unaware they have the disease or are pre-diabetic.
It is important to the sponsoring organizations that our volunteers become more aware of the dangers of diabetes as well. Not only is diabetes a terrible and expensive disease, there are co-morbidities with obesity, hypertension and asthma. Many obese children later develop Type 2 diabetes. For many people, their family history puts them at risk. If an individual has a parent or sibling with Type 2 diabetes, they are at increased risk of developing it themselves. People with diabetes are likely to develop a host of other problems resulting from their disease such as kidney damage, damage to blood vessels leading to heart attacks and strokes, vision problems and many neuropathies. People at most risk of Type 2 diabetes are those who are over 45, those who are overweight, and those of African American, Hispanic, Native American or Inuit descent.