Meridian Star


February 10, 2013

More reasons to avoid sugar 

MERIDIAN — This past week, we had several new classes to begin at Meridian Activity Center, and I found myself doing something I haven’t had to do in a long time: Give directions.

    And you know what? Men don’t like to take directions. I had only just begun to tell them to turn onto 29th Avenue and they’re saying “Okay, I’ve got it ...” and hang up. “But wait ... stay with me, there’s more,” I say. Gone.

    Not that the women were a whole lot better. They kept talking to someone else in the car over my directions, making me repeat over and over ...

    The whole experience reminded me of how difficult Meridian Activity Center is to find! How many people give up, I wonder? Wouldn’t it be nice to have an easily found location such as the empty Winn-Dixie store on Highway 19? Just dreaming ... don’t worry. We’re the best scavenger hunt you can hope to win!

    I was pleased that, despite the location, our center attracted the attention of Lisa Camel and Willie Ann Thomas, who are conducting a three- week workshop on diabetes. These two young ladies are representatives of Information & Quality Healthcare or IQH, a Medicare-sponsored group visiting nine states to perform seminars on diabetes. Meridian is the only city chosen in Mississippi.

    Targeting African Americans who have a high incidence of heart disease, diabetes and other related illness and also have a literacy problem with some medical terms, Camel and Thomas use props so people can actually see what they are talking about. (It’s a Dr. Oz show, without the actual human organs under the towel.)

    When asked what they know about this disease, one person said, “Diabetes is something you learn about as you go on.”

    Lisa quipped: It is how to eat what you have in your cabinet and what you can afford at the Dollar General.

    What do you know about diabetes? There are primarily two types. The primary risk factor for Type 1 diabetes is a family history of this lifelong, chronic disease. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can't use the insulin that's produced, a condition called insulin resistance. Though it typically starts in adulthood, Type 2 diabetes can begin anytime in life. Because of the current epidemic of obesity among U.S. children, Type 2 diabetes is increasingly found in teenagers.

    Whatever your risk factors for diabetes may be, there's a lot you can do to delay or prevent it. To manage your risk of diabetes, you should: (1) Manage your blood pressure; (2) Keep your weight within or near normal range; (3) Get moderate exercise on most days; and (4) Eat a balanced diet.

    This valuable workshop is open to anyone with diabetes. Two more sessions are scheduled Feb. 12 and 19, from 2 p.m.-4 p.m., in Room 4 at Meridian Activity Center.

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