(This is the third in a series of articles about Free Diabetes Self-Management Education classes in SC.)

We all know that WHAT we eat has an impact on our health. However, did you know that HOW MUCH you eat is as important as WHAT you eat?

A diet high in calories from any source can not only contribute to weight gain, but also can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  Excess fat, especially around the waist, can also contribute to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means the cells are unable to absorb insulin, which helps the movement of sugar out of the bloodstream.  According to a report in Science, being overweight stresses cells. 1   By reducing the amount of food you eat, you can also reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.  A lower weight can reduce stress on hips, knees and feet and increase mobility.

Two things have contributed to weight gain over the years: increased portion sizes and decreased physical activity.   In fact, many people have “portion distortion”. This means that they are unable to accurately assess an average portion of food.  Some restaurants market supersized meals as “value meals” and encourage us to eat more. The first step in controlling portions and limiting calories is reading nutrition labels. To take a portion distortion quiz, go to: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/eat-right/portion-distortion.htm 2

It is important to maintain an active lifestyle. We spend a lot of time in front of the computer, reading on our tablets, and watching television and movies. As a result, we spend less time mowing the yard, raking leaves and doing housework. This lifestyle does not allow us to burn the extra calories that we consume.  This results in weight gain. See this example from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute:

The Department of Health and Human Resources recommends all Americans participate in a minimum of 150 minutes or activity per week – that’s only a little over 20 minutes a day. In addition, people with diabetes are encouraged to engage in three or more minutes of light activity for every 30 minutes of prolonged sedentary activity for improved blood glucose management. 3Free Diabetes Self-Management Education, which includes nutrition, is provided by The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME).  The workshops feature a series of five classes, each of which focuses on a different topic related to diabetes.  Even if you have previously attended a Medicare reimbursed class, you are invited to attend these workshops at no cost.

For more information and to locate a workshop near you, please call the CCME- SC Diabetes Self-Management Hotline at: 1-800-922-3089, extension 7585

This material was prepared by the Atlantic Quality Innovation Network (AQIN), the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for New York State, South Carolina, and the District of Columbia, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents do not necessarily reflect CMS policy.11SOW-AQUINSC-TskB.2-17-01


  1. Why does Obesity Cause Diabetes? Barbara K. Hecht, PhD., Frederick Hecht, M.D. Medical Editors, MedicineNet.com. 2004.
  1. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Obesity Education Initiative
  1. ADA Issues New Recommendations on Physical Activity. November 5th, 2016.

http:// care.diabetesjournals.org/content/39/11/2063


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