11-23-11-better-health.jpgThe American Diabetes Association tells us that there are nearly 26 million Americans living with diabetes and there are another 79 million at risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes. This disease kills more people each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless steps are taken to stop diabetes.

Melissa Brady, health education coordinator for Better Health of Cumberland County, is familiar with these numbers. She works every day to help educate the public about diabetes and to teach people with diabetes how to live with and manage it.

Better Health offers classes and events year round, but because November is American Diabetes Month, there is a lot more going on in the way of education and activities to raise awareness

.“Let’s face it, we know how to eat right, we just choose not to,” said Brady.

And those small choices made each day over time can lead to serious complications.

She adds. “There are many, many people in Cumberland County who have diabetes and even more with prediabetes. We are here to educate them and give them tools and resources to better manage their health.”

There are still a couple weeks left in November and Better Health, sponsored by United Way, is using them to the fullest to promote, well, better health. There is an Oral Health and Diabetes clinic scheduled from 8 12 p.m. on Nov. 22 and a cooking class on Nov. 28 at 8:30 a.m. These clinics are all in addition to the regularly scheduled diabetes-related events that are ongoing throughout the year.

Brady also noted that this is the perfect time to register for the next “Take Charge of Diabetes” class, which will be held in January. This is a seven-week comprehensive diabetes management course. While the class is free, students who are able are asked to contribute a donation to “pay it forward” for the next class. Preregistration is required.

In addition to the events above, Better Health sponsors ongoing and continuous classes and clinics related to diabetes management:

• Diabetes clinics are held on Tuesdays from 8 to 11:30 a.m. at the Better Health Office. Individual glucometer instruction is available.

• Diabetes clinics are held on Thursdays 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Better Health Offi ce• Exercise classes for people with diabetes are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 to 10:30 a.m. for experienced students; 11 a.m. for beginners. All classes are offered at the Better Health Offi ce. Exercise regimens include yoga, aerobics, chair-yoga and chair-aerobics. Blood glucose testing is required pre and post class. Supplies are provided.

• Diabetes Clinic is on a walk-in basis at Gray’s Creek Recreation Center on Wednesday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Individual education is available at the clinic.

• Eat Smart, Move More Healthy Lifestyle Series can be scheduled at your church or civic group at your request. Call 483-7534 to plan an event.

For more information, visit the Better Health website at or give them a call at 483-7534.

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